Category: Workplace Empathy

Empathy: The Key to Millennial Marketing

We have found this article on quad.com right on the mark.  Empathy IS the key to marketing to millennials. “Previous generations have been lobbing insults about self-absorption and immaturity at younger generations since Socrates famously quipped, “The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.” Over and over, this sentiment winds its way through millennia,…

Connect Authentically During Workplace Investigations

I first learned how to investigate workplace misconduct when I worked for Target.  I remember after I completed my first investigation, I conducted the interview, got to the truth, they wrote a statement, management terminated them, and police made the arrest.  As they were leaving with police, the person turned to me and thanked me. I was confused.  I didn’t know what to say.  So I went with what my…

Telling An Emotionally True Story Can Stop An Escalating Conflict

The next time you are preparing for a workplace investigation or a difficult conversation, remember that human emotions are universal. Human Resources professionals are typically brought into the conversation when feelings are at their most intense.  If a team member is accused of sexual harassment, all parties have emotional responses whether the accusation proves to be true or false.  Coworkers may have shared details about their salaries and heated arguments…

Empathy? In Denmark they are learning it in school

Denmark is one of the happiest countries in the world. This is according to the UN’s World Happiness Report, an important survey that since 2012 classifies the happiness of 155 countries in the world, and that for seven years has placed Denmark among the top three happiest countries on a global level. The fact that teaching empathy has been mandatory since 1993 in schools in Denmark is a factor that contributes to the…

Empathy Is Tough to Teach, But Is One Of the Most Important Life Lessons

KQED provides a well crafted summary of Brene Brown’s teachings and links to related content. In particular we appreciate the statement: “Dr. Brown says empathy consists of four qualities: the ability to take the perspective of another person, staying away from judgment, recognizing emotion in others, and communicating it. She defines empathy as “feeling with people,” and notes that it’s a “vulnerable choice” because it requires a person to tap…

Sit Up, Stand Up and Engage in Whole Body Empathy

When an interviewer’s physicality becomes in tune with those they are interviewing an honest, authentic dialogue ensues. The Empathic Investigation utilizes both verbal and non-verbal communication skills to effectively create a connection between an investigator, accusers and those accused. This is what we call whole body empathy. The traditional concept of empathy has a number of cliche meanings. The one that stands out is when another individual is telling us…

How an empathic culture gets built

Workplace Culture is built in everyday moments and tested during the difficult moments. Difficult moments test us at work too and can be determining factors on how we are perceived at doing our jobs.  If your job is a field goal kicker and you miss a game winning field goal during playoffs, people are going to judge.  Difficult moments also challenge our workplace culture. Culture is tested when someone messes…

Untrained Heart: What If No One Cared I Work Hard, Hate My Job or Have Great Ideas

I know people that say the following on a regular basis. Save the judgements for a moment and just listen to their rants. No one cares how hard I work. I can show up before everyone else. I can leave after everyone else. I can write longer emails. I can express more opinions in meetings. But, there will be no recognition of my efforts because they are not important. No…

Conversation stalled? Use a mirror or lay a brick

There is a profound moment I experience when I am talking with a work colleague and I suddenly have nothing to say. The topic of conversation might be about the weather. Or, the dialogue may be an important discussion related to a decision that affects both of us, and the company. What happens in that pause, in that space where another person is waiting on my response and I have…

Leaders Building Empathic Workplaces Turn to Strength Training

87% percent of CEOs today believe that their company’s financial success is directly tied to the level of empathy within their workforce. 79% of HR professionals agree. They recognize that empathy throughout an organization influences ease of hiring, retention rates, productivity, how customers are treated and overall business health. On top of that, the State of Workplace Empathy Study found that employees are happy to work longer hours when they’re working…

Empathy in Law Enforcement

For the police, the motto of “Protect and Serve” is a noble ambition. Officers, departments and administration prove time and again that they’re committed to these principles at their very core. But on a daily basis, officers face horrors, dangers, despair and scrutiny most of us could never imagine. In these high-stress jobs, compassion, patience and understanding can “run dry”. We struggle to maintain the empathy needed to “protect, serve,…

Optimizing Empathy: Being empathic doesn’t require giving someone advice to solve their problem.

I was sitting on my therapist’s couch, gazing through the partially opened blinds of his office’s floor to ceiling window, while he talked me through a simple gym couple scenario. “Have you ever seen that couple at the gym, where the guy is ridiculing his girlfriend about how her stomach isn’t flat enough or her butt is too small, and she works that much harder during their workout trying to…

True Life: Addicted to Novelty

“Hello, everyone. My name is Jim, and I’m a novelty addict.” [Everyone: “Hi, Jim.”] “It’s been 12 hours since I last ‘liked’ and ‘retweeted’ multiple articles on Twitter and LinkedIn without reading them or doing anything with the knowledge I gained. But it’s time I admit I need help in order to make a change and break this toxic cycle. These constant hits of novelty are only holding me back.”…

Problem Solving – It’s is all About Creativity

Problem solving is perhaps one of the most sought-after traits during the employment interview process, but try as we might as recruiters and hiring managers, we’ve always struggled to develop interview questions that truly capture someone’s problem solving ability. In turn, we may hire someone who thinks they’re a problem solver but struggles to think in a non-linear way, impacting their ability to grow in the company. When it comes down…

Protecting your health is no laughing matter (or is it?)

According to the CDC, absenteeism costs employers over $225 billion each year. “Presenteeism”, employees coming to work sick but not being fully productive, accounts for two-thirds of the total cost incurred by employees, according to Harvard Business Review. Employee wellness matters at work not only because you care about your employees; it affects the bottom line. Could something as seemingly “unimportant” or even “distracting” as laughter offer a solution to what Harvard researchers call…

“Where you from” as a micro aggression in the workplace

As huge corporations like General Motors manage the backlash regarding certain leadership that did little to combat a culture of overt racism against employees of color, we’re reminded that while most people today don’t condone racist or other discriminatory behavior, it does exist. It’s easy to point fingers and proclaim that your company isn’t like that, but it’s the more subtle forms of discrimination today that often do the most to divide an office. As leaders within…

5 Ways to Increase Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

Over the last decade, more companies are giving attention to the emotional intelligence of their employees. Backed by thousands of studies, high emotional intelligence has been shown to improve job performance, leadership skills, employee interactions, relationships, mental and physical health, and happiness in employees. Most companies have employees that fall all over the emotional intelligence spectrum. How can a company work to bring everyone to a place of higher emotional…

LGBT in the Workplace

Some may think that sharing a workplace with a person who has different life experiences than us can be challenging, and it does not have to be. When it comes to being in a workplace with LGBT+ people, we want to let them know we are an ally and, more importantly, an effective ally. As a cisgender, heterosexual person, however, we may not know precisely how to “deal” with an LGBT+…

The Benefits and Challenges of Working in a Multi-Generational Workforce

It turns out that most people believe variety is the spice of life, at least in terms of working in an environment that includes people of all ages. In their second quarter report on work insights for 2018, the employment agency Randstad indicated that 86 percent of survey respondents indicated that they prefer to work on teams with many age groups represented. Most respondents also stated that working with others 10 to…

Explaining Science Using Improv

Can improv help us become better communicators? As teachers? As co-workers? As managers? Human interactions can seem complicated. We often do not know what a person will say or do and there is little time to develop the most empathic response. Subsequently, we may fail to pick up on signals or we may say something we later regret. In improv, a group of people acts out a theme that the…

Do You Work in a Toxic Workplace?

70% of people say they wouldn’t work for an industry leader if they felt the environment was toxic. 77% say they would leave. Millennials say they would take an average $7,600 pay cut if it meant moving into a healthier work environment. And studies show that a toxic work environment can cut productivity by as much as 20%. What’s a toxic work environment costing us as companies? Increased turnover? Trouble hiring?…

Restoring Empathy in the Workplace

Empathy in the workplace is clearly important. In fact, a global study of corporate leaders found that empathy was the one skill most clearly linked to performance. Despite this, many leaders fail to develop an empathetic work environment. Sometimes, it’s not even management’s fault. Layoffs, stagnant growth, and even outside factors can cause employees to feel detached. Luckily, a lack of empathy in your corporate culture doesn’t have to be permanent. In…

Using the Science of Empathy and Storytelling to Connect in the Workplace

I first learned how to investigate workplace misconduct when I worked for Target.  I remember after I completed my first investigation, I conducted the interview, got to the truth, they wrote a statement, management terminated them, and police made the arrest.  As they were leaving with police, the person turned to me and thanked me. I was confused.  I didn’t know what to say.  So I went with what my…