“When you show deep empathy toward others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it. That’s when you can get more creative in solving problems.” – Stephen Covey
Empathy nowadays is one of the most important soft skills you can have as an employee. To start, empathy is “largely understood as the ability to understand another’s pain, and to consider the complexity of issues behind another person’s perspective.”[i] Being able to see another person’s motives and actions from their point of view is crucial to an organization’s overall success. In fact, a 2018 State of Workplace Empathy Study by Businessolver found that 96% of employees surveyed believe it’s important for their employers to demonstrate empathy.[ii] With that being said, here are some ways in which empathy can help benefit you – and your coworkers.
- Collaboration is a hugely important aspect of successful organizational departments. Being empathetic in brainstorming sessions and meetings shows that you’re encouraging colleagues to share different points of view and opinions that differ from your own. Empathy leads to an opening of new ideas, and ways to solve problems.[iii]
- Improved morale and confidence are two benefits of practicing empathy at work. Employees find empathy at work so important that 79% said that they would consider leaving their employer if the employer became less emphatic, according to a 2018 study.[iv] Practicing empathy at work exemplifies that you care for and respect your fellow colleagues, rather than just going through the day-to-day work motions.
- Companies that are empathic and allow for people to make mistakes, learn, and grow from them allow their employees to feel comfortable throwing out ideas, and not be scared to fail in front of others. This is why organizations that demonstrate empathy thrive, versus ones where failure and poor performances are often criticized.
These are just a few of the impacts that demonstrating empathy at work can provide. Beginning to show empathy can be challenging. Making the effort to display self-awareness, understanding, and active listening can take both time and practice. [vi] Learning to understand the emotions and feelings of others – and how it could be affecting work performance – can have a tremendous impact on your organization.