You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view….until you climb into his skin and walk around in it - Harper Lee
Most often the conversations today end up in the challenges we face in communication, mental stress, frustration and loneliness. Considering our work environments are a miniature version of the world we survive in at large, these issues have made their way into our professional lives as well. One could just wish that there would be a single medicine to heal from it all. And this is where empathy plays a huge part.
Empathy is simply the ability to place ourselves in someone else’s shoes and be considerate about the situation. Many of us tend to confuse empathy and sympathy. Sympathy is when we tend to share or feel someone else’s pain or problems. Empathy, on the other hand, involves placing ourselves in someone else’s situation even if we do not necessarily feel it.
Our professions, even though it's only a part of our lives, most of the time end up navigating or determining our course of action on a day-to-day basis eventually transforming us as individuals as well. One has a bad day at work and the dinner doesn't seem as good, life doesn't seem as assuring many times. So why not pour this magic potion of empathy into our work life to see the countless benefits of empathy that witness its magic unfold at the workplace.
Most would agree that there’s no better feeling than being understood. When we are working as a team, understanding someone else’s perspective or listening to what they are trying to communicate can create a secure work environment where everyone can feel valued. In times of personal crisis or rough days, lending an ear to make one feel heard can create immense levels of trust. Not always do we need to agree or feel the same as our colleagues, but at all times, we can hear them out and accept it as an opinion from a different perspective.
In a service based organisation, communication with clients is always a tricky path to tread on. The client invests money with a set level of expectation while the agency has to make sure that the requirements are met. Amidst all these contract-level transactions, there is a human side to it. Understanding the pain points of the clients and adjusting one’s tone and choice of words based on the matter of discussion can help in building the faith. This is the foundation that can make the agency-client relationship thrive in all kinds of weather.
As we hear more, we learn more and as we learn more, we become more aware. Building a sense of empathy in the workplace or oneself can help in understanding people better, develop a sense of gratitude and also make us a better compassionate version of ourselves. How we deal with people eventually decides how people deal with us.
In the post-pandemic world, where an entire population has seen the unpredictability of life, with an extremely significant impact on the job sector, the least we can do is be more considerate and compassionate towards others. The least we can do is show empathy.