Why are some companies more successful than others? You may also have asked yourself this question at some point. The answer may seem like a cliché, but the truth is that companies that invest in empathy with their customers get ahead because they genuinely care. And, in times of a crisis like this, empathy is more necessary than ever before.
Want to know more about this? Continue reading!
What is empathy, and why is it necessary?
Before talking about empathy in times of crisis, we need to understand what this term is, which is becoming popular. Having empathy is nothing more than putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and understanding what he/she is feeling or the situations one is going through. So, in this challenging time, which we all are going through, understanding the pains and needs of your client and employees is fundamental. And, you need to reassure them and create solutions so that they can overcome difficulties in the best way.
Want to know how to do this? So, here are the top five characteristics of people with a high degree of empathy
How to practice empathy
In a situation like this caused by the pandemic, it becomes more difficult to empathize at work when it is not possible to know what is happening in the face of such different realities. Each one lives a situation, but there are tips to practice this precious skill, especially in times of crisis.
Show full and genuine attention
It is undeniable that we live in a world of multiple sensory stimuli. Every second, a new notification may flash on the screen and divert our attention.
An empathic person can entirely focus on their interlocutor. When someone speaks to him or shares a problem, that person’s body postures show that his attention is focused or not on that moment.
This genuinely present and attentive attitude gives security to the other person, who feels important and comforted by the gesture. In such a distracting world, where everyone spends more time looking at a few-inch screen, it weighs even more.
Practice active listening
The ability to listen to your work teams is an essential trait in a leader during these unprecedented times. You need to find time to make calls or video calls to individuals or small groups of employees to listen to their needs in these times of distress.
When employees feel they have no way to express their unmet needs, their anxiety levels increase. Leaders need to ensure that people can easily share their concerns without negative consequences. To listen, leaders have to be able to accept the opinions, ideas, and suggestions of employees. Starting every day with a team log that collects feedback is an excellent way to listen to employees.
After listening, ask
Asking shows that your attention was focused on what the other was saying, shows interest in understanding better about the other’s problems. Try to understand the emotional state and motivations behind the other person’s responses.
Ask with the curiosity, who wants to put themselves next to each other on the way to solving these problems. Curiosity about the other is an essential step in expanding your empathy.
Put kindness at the heart of management
Teleworkers in times of crisis are more exposed to stress and anxiety. They no longer receive all those little signals from their colleagues that help them develop a sense of belonging. In short, they are in a situation of emotional insecurity. That is why more empathy is necessary when one is deprived of these daily interactions. Here are some ways to show more empathy:
By giving your employees little personalized attention – Some have children at home, consider, for example, sending them educational (or entertainment) resources. Why not a subscription to a MOOC, an online educational service? Why not create and animate channels of exchange between peers on the subject of children?
By checking that they do not work too much – It is not impossible that some zealous teleworkers choose to immerse themselves in work to cope with their stress. Even outside the crisis, teleworkers often tend to work more than others because the border between work and leisure is trickier to maintain. Thus, being leaders, you must remain vigilant for signs of fatigue and protect them from their overzealousness.
Seek to establish connections
Empathetic people continually develop the ability to take another perspective for themselves by putting themselves in the other’s place. This is probably the great characteristic that helps to define the concept of empathy, as it allows one to imagine the pain of the other and to be present body and soul to help resolve the issue.
In other words, empathists seek to establish connections, however difficult that may be in some cases. There are times when it is necessary to deal with difficult people and understand their point of view.
Cultivating empathy at work is one of the smartest ways to improve team management. A more harmonious environment tends to increase productivity and provide better results in times of crisis.
And, if you are one of those people who have less developed empathy, do not give up on the game. This is one of the capabilities that can be worked upon.