When people think about superpowers they would want to have in the workplace, they would choose to be powerful, influential, or inspirational. It's rare to find someone who would want to be empathetic instead. Whenever businesses seek advice and use their 90 day trial period in New Zealand, they usually overlook this one important skill.
Frans de Waal describes empathy as the 'social glue that holds human society together'. It is the capacity of a person to be more aware of others’ concerns, needs and feeling. This ability prevents conflicts, misunderstandings, and poor morale. It allows the person to form important and lifelong relationships.
Empathy is the unrecognised secret to achieving both professional and personal success. Here’s how you can develop it in your workspace:
Pay Close Attention
Most of the time, you forget to consider other people’s feelings because you are engrossed in your own thoughts. This trait can lead to conflict and misunderstandings in your team, which forms a pressured and toxic atmosphere. This is the reason why you do not only need to be self-aware, but also more aware of the people around you. Give your colleagues the benefit of the doubt and try to understand their feelings before you judge them.
Be More Willing to Listen
To be empathetic, you do not only have to observe but also listen. Based on the Oxford Open Learning Trust report, business leaders search for three skills from their employees. These are strong effective communication (68%), team-working skills (70%), and people skills (71%) — all of which need your listening. It doesn't matter if your peers are looking for advice or want to recommend an idea, you have to be prepared to listen to them. This will lead to better collaboration as well as a supportive and positive network.
Remember, every successful business knows that the people are their foundation. This is why you have to form a more emphatic environment to produce a more productive, positive and respectful work atmosphere.