Why do we care about empathy?

Empathy in the workplace … the human communication connection

Empathy has become a kind of new workplace buzzword, even though it certainly has been in existence for a very long time. Empathy is not sympathy. When a team member empathizes with a customer, it simply means that person can understand what the customer needs, perhaps even understanding the customer’s underlying frustrations or desires.

As reported in Forbes magazine, a recent workplace survey found that “87% of CEOs see a direct link between workplace empathy and business performance, productivity, retention and general business health.

Electronic devices are distractions that demand our attention, almost addictively. Electronic communications mute the ability to read emotions, to sense frustration, and to empathize with another person. In fact, quite often, electronic communications exacerbate the situation by creating miscommunication and unnecessarily hurt feelings, even in the workplace.

How can human communications help team members develop a better sense of empathy with customers and with co-workers? In a face-to-face conversation, with cell phones out of sight and out of mind, we are able to focus intently on the customer or co-worker who needs our attention – and who needs our empathy in that moment. The ability to actively listen and to develop focused responses, from one human to another, is crucial to enhancing empathy in the workplace.

Human communication enables empathy. That empathy may just become the difference in your business health.

Put it down. Look up. Focus on the other human in the room with you. Have a real conversation. Let me know how it goes.

Related articles

Here you go

Customer service. Remember that? It had something to do with communications. Ah, right. Now I recall. There was a pleasant focus on manners, with “please” and “thank you” sprinkled throughout. What do we get now? “Here you go.” That’s it. That’s what they say. “Here you go.” They are, of course, the customer service representatives, […]

Learn More

Communicating across the generations

“Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.” ~~George Orwell Let’s take a look at the six (count ’em, six) generations that are alive today. Five of those (count ’em, five) are active in the workplace. We start with […]

Learn More

Human communication means business

Everyone has a customer service story.   Everyone has a workplace communication story.   Everyone usually tells these stories in a negative light.   What can we do to change the stories to improve the business environment?   Very simply, we can remember that we are communicating with humans.   Technology has distracted us from […]

Learn More