Empathy is fantastic but beware of the struggles
It has been reported that one in three workers in a working organization would prefer a greener pasture if employees does not emphasize empathy skills.
For people of supporting role, it boils down to how well we listen and connect to our fellow employees.
The better we do our jobs, the more equipped our coworkers are to do theirs.
Empathy is self-learned, not from an employee handbook, nor from management.
Employee, who understands their coworkers, will ultimately reap the rewards.
Empathy represents the ability to understand someone else’s thoughts and feelings.
Compassion comes into place too. It takes listening to your coworkers and taking their concerns into consideration.
According to Businessolver’s 2017 Workplace Empathy Monitor report, empathy has a direct impact on employee productivity, loyalty, and engagement. Here are some particularly striking data points from the report:
- 77% of workers would be willing to work more hours for a more empathetic workplace; meanwhile, 60% would actually accept a slashed salary for the same.
- 92% of HR professionals note that a compassionate workplace is a major factor for employee retention.
- 80% of millennial noted that they would leave their current job if their office became less empathetic. 66% of Baby Boomers also shared this sentiment.
Being empathetic in the workplace provides meaningful, concrete returns.
Good connection with coworkers helps sustain thriving working organization that’s built for the long term.
The ability to put you in another person’s shoes, to see and feel from another person’s perspective is a sign of a powerful empathy.
It also an essential component of emotional intelligence, one that fuels the connection between you and others.
Empathy can also prove dangerous if taken too far though it can vastly improve the quality of your relationships.
For individuals demonstrating an abnormal degree of empathy; however, they often lack the ability to regulate that empathy and it leads to unhealthy habits and relationships.
The Pew Research Center analyzed a series of studies and found that in certain cases, the use of social media led to higher levels of stress.
Essentially, users become more aware of the struggles of persons in their network.
The rise in digital technology allows individuals to learn about these things much more quickly, and in closer succession to one another.
If you aren’t careful, constant exposure to the problems of others could lead to higher stress, emotional exhaustion, and a host of other health issues.
Clearly, as useful as empathy can be to relationship-building, it’s clearly harmful in certain contexts.
We do need to find the proper balance in having empathy.
If your job requires you to remain “on” for long periods of time, it’s easy to reach emotional exhaustion.
To avoid that outcome, you may decide to take shorter but more frequent breaks to allow yourself to recharge.
If you have a horrible day at work and your spouse having it too; there’s no way feel in no shape to offer comfort or empathy; in fact, you’re craving it yourself.
You may have to say something like: “I think we both had tough day; can we just take some time to relax or we can go for a walk and talk about it all.”
This type of response clearly states your own needs while kindly addressing the needs of your partner.
Simple, short comforting words can greatly affect how the next few hours, or even days, play out.
You might also spend less time on social media. Ask yourself whether drains you emotionally?
Set an alarm and plan something for when your time is up so that you’re motivated to shut it off.
Remember that empathy can help you build stronger relationships with others but only if you’re not burning yourself out in the process.
If you understand your own emotions and needs first, and take action to support those needs, you’ll be in a much better position to help others.
Empathy is a fantastic quality but it can prove dangerous when taken too far.
Azizi Ahmad is a senior educator