Updated: Sep 17
Empathy is the ability to perceive and relate to the thoughts, emotions, or experiences of other people. Empathetic people are able to understand a situation from another person’s perspective. They are able to react with compassion and authenticity.
In the workplace or in business, empathy allows for the creation of true connections with others. This results in better relationships and good performance. When empathy is developed, stress is reduced, productivity increases, revenue improves, and more positive relationships are created.
For example, if you are the boss, empathy can help you understand what your employees need because you are able to put yourself in their situation. As a result, you can come up with better solutions to address the gaps.
In 2017, Google released a study called Project Aristotle. This research showed that the company’s most important new ideas came from the B-teams. Members of B-teams are those with soft skills like "equality, generosity, curiosity toward others’ ideas, empathy and emotional intelligence". The top scientists in Google may not be in the B-teams, but the B-team members are those who are able to give birth to great ideas because they feel confident about speaking up since they know that they are being heard.
Empathy is, indeed, an important ingredient in building a successful business. No less than the European Council recognized empathy as one of the key competencies of the future. The top companies in terms of performance also top the list of the Most Empathetic Companies. They, too, have better employee retention and higher morale among their workers.
One of the best things about empathy is that it can be learned through consistent mindfulness practice. To build empathetic relationships, consider the following ingredients: active listening, suspending judgment, and making the conscious choice to use the most appropriate verbal and non-verbal communication.
Here are some concrete ways to show empathy
Check on co-workers or employees for signs of overwork.
Show genuine interest in the needs and aspirations of others.
Be willing to help other people with their problems or difficulties.
Show compassion when you know that another is going through a difficult time.
Use the right phrases to make others feel understood and respected.
Acknowledge other people's feelings and make them feel supported and heard.
Contact Mindfulness Asia to learn about our programs and how you can redesign and maintain a holistic culture for a thriving company.