Empathy in the workplace is a huge element of emotional intelligence. But it’s also a skill that professional leaders need to practice in order to hone their leadership skills and create a more fulfilling and effective work environment. Empathy is the ability to understand and share someone else’s experiences – positive or negative – and to relate to what they are going through. Empathy in the workplace has been shown to boost team productivity and increase morale in the workplace. It can even affect the happiness and satisfaction levels of your clients. Here are 4 tips to help you bring more empathy into the workplace.
Get To Know Your Colleagues
Some workplaces have like-minded people who all seem to naturally get along quite well. Others, not so much. It might take a little work, but getting to know your colleagues, even the ones who seem like you’ll never be friends with, can help all of you feel more connected and more satisfied. Take time to introduce yourself to people you might not interact with. Ask people questions about themselves, their lives and their families. It helps to ensure that everyone feels seen and heard.
Offer Help Under Pressure
It’s always nice to offer help. But if you see a fellow co-worker dealing with a tight deadline or feeling stressed out, that could be a particularly poignant time to show a little empathy in the workplace. Showing that you’re willing to go out of your way to help others will inspire them and also make them more likely to do the same for others.
Call out your employees’ strengths and positive attributes at a group meeting – acknowledging what you value about someone in front of their peers is a fantastic morale booster. It’s a sure way to make them feel valued and appreciated. Find chances to acknowledge people for what they bring to your company and their role in it.
Be a Compassionate Leader
All employees learn by example. The best leaders are able to lead with good intentions and offer kindness, flexibility and support to their employees. Treating people with compassion is the best way to ensure that they offer compassion in return – and those are the kinds of employees who will love working with you for a long time to come.
Empathy in the workplace doesn’t always exist naturally but it’s worth it to you and your employees to cultivate it over time.