This short 4 minute video was recently shared with me and it is a beautiful depiction of how we can foster empathy in the workplace.
One of the important drivers of employee engagement is trust and confidence in leadership. Trust is built through many different ways including transparency, communication and empathy. Today I’d like to focus on empathy.
Empathy doesn’t involve feeling sorry for someone. It is our honest answer to the question, “why did they do what they did?” The useful answer is rarely, “because they’re incompetent.” Or even, “because they’re mean.” In fact, most of the time, people with similar information, similar beliefs and similar apparent choices will choose similar actions. So if you want to know why someone does what they do, start with what they know, what they believe and where they came from. We may not always know the answers to these questions but as leaders, we need to make sure we are being transparent and that we are seeking to understand.
Dismissing actions we don’t admire merely because we don’t care enough to have empathy is rarely going to help us make the change we seek. It doesn’t help us understand, and it creates a gulf that drives us apart.
Here’s to a great weekend!