Maitén Panella is a Psychologist. She works with C-Suite Executives, Leaders and Entrepreneurs combining techniques from Emotional Intelligence, Gestalt and other psychological theories to remove obstacles, achieve goals and unlock hidden potential.
“At the core, Hit Refresh is about us humans and the unique quality we call empathy, which will become ever more valuable in a world where the torrent of technology will disrupt the status quo like never before.”– Satya Nadella, Hit Refresh
In my last article, we discussed the meaning of empathy, the difference between cognitive, emotional and compassionate empathies and the role they each play in workplace dynamics, forming an essential part of any successful business.
Now, having acknowledged that empathy plays such a fundamental role that it might even define the course of the enterprise itself, it’s time to dig deeper, learn how to apply it and also, how to improve it.
A lot has been said already about its implementation, but the truth is that there is still a long way to go.
Most corporations still struggle to understand the real value of empathy which, ultimately, should be at the core of any company culture. Why? Firstly, because it relates to ethics and secondly, because it works in favour of the company, bringing loyalty, productivity, and benefits.
Instead of beginning a real implementation project (like regular meetings and seminars to learn and discuss the topic and decide the best course of action, or getting a consultant in to facilitate the changes), employers are finding more and more employees resigning on a daily basis as a consequence of “false empathy”, or the pretence of an empathetic approach.
Not to mention the high cost of losing clients, which is another flagrant example of the lack of empathy in any business.
So, how does a company take the big step and begin a serious and long-lasting transformation?
The first step towards change should be to acknowledge the lack of an empathetic culture and the second is to also acknowledge the need to create one at the heart of the company.
Once these two primordial steps are completed, the company can move forward and begin the process.
Here are some ideas that can be implemented across a corporation by each and every one in it. These strategies/new behaviours will change the face – and the heart – of your company:
But there is more: what else you can do, right now?
• Show gratitude: say thank you more often, appreciate the time and effort that others invest in you, your product and your service. Give credit for the things well done. Being grateful not only creates bonds but also shows respect and dignity
• Show you listen and care: practice active listening which can restore confidence and help build loyalty. A high percentage of employees, as well as customers, feel their opinion doesn’t matter. Make yourself available: create surveys, ask direct questions, handle 1-to-1 meetings, be sure that your customer service is providing the necessary assistance
• Share stories with a positive outlook, whenever you can but especially before beginning a meeting. Sharing creates a bond and helps to set an ambiance of collaboration, willingness, openness and receptiveness
• Listen to your co-workers and team members. Make some extra time to give others the opportunity to share. Make room, physically and emotionally, for the others’ experiences. Let people talk and listen to their stories.
And…there is even more you can do!