Empathic Workplace Learning Modules

The Empathic Workplace Approach

Empathic Workplace presents workshop, lectures and demonstrations for executives, managers and employees to gain knowledge of the foundational principles that build an empathic workplace.

FEELING IT:
Emotional Intelligence

Principles

We are often hard pressed to be sure that the emotion we are expressing is the emotion actually being received. We discuss the gamut of emotions and how facial expressions, body language and physical presentation portray more than we appreciate.

An important skill learned is how to take accountability for one's physical actions and owning their corresponding emotional projections. One must understand their role in a situation be it positive or negative.

Practice

Through group exercises the participants will practice changing their words and body language. Groups interact and learn the importance of empathic posture, and the obstacles that judgement creates.  The group debriefs after the exercise.

SPEAKING IT:
Communicating Empathy

Principles

We must be purposeful with our words to be sure we are objective. When we are intentional with words, we communicate more authentically.

There is a requirement in empathic communication to understand our own intentions first in order to understand others. Only after mastering this ourselves, are we prepared to interact empathically in workplace interviews and difficult conversations.

Practice

Through improvisational exercises participants will demonstrate the impact that words can have in a situation. Words go beyond words and their meaning can change with different tone, emotion and inflection.

PRACTICING IT:
Connecting Authentically

Principles

In order to have others feel comfortable being honest and open with us requires an authentic, mindful connection. This module concentrates on learning to build rapport, how to actively listen and be present in the moment.

The first few moments of an interaction are always critical. How we initiate a difficult conversation or workplace interview sets the tone for honesty and empathy, or it does the exact opposite. One must of course then sustain authentic connection throughout the remainder of a conversation or investigation.

Practice

Using movement exercises participants will learn to be purposeful and connected to increase understanding of another's emotions and expressions. They will learn that these techniques will help build authentic connection within seconds of an interaction.  

UNDERSTANDING IT:
Science of Empathy

Principles

Science does in fact provide proof of the necessity of empathy. Our brain chemistry impacts our behavior and the way we connect with individuals.

This module explores the more technical nature of empathic behavior, and how the fundamental need for empathy among humans drives much of our workplace behavior.

Practice

We will be exploring emotions and words and practice attentive listening. Participants will be able to demonstrate acceptance of emotion without judgement, and learn how to refocus when emotions are present. 

RELATING IT:
Storytelling and Empathy

Principles

Demonstrating empathy is the most important building block for workplace investigations and difficult conversations. In order to connect authentically we tell relatable stories grounded in truth, while mindfully balancing boundaries and appropriateness.

This module explores how to authentically present and share our own experiences through the art of storytelling. This technique has proven to be Empathic Workplace's most effective tool for achieving cooperation in workplace investigations and difficult conversations.

Practice

Through improv exercises participants become more skilled at telling their stories in a way that connects with others. We learn to tell a story that connects the emotion and motivation, not the actions of another.

WORKING IT:
Navigating Workplace Conflict

Principles

Arguments, complaints, harassments and accusations.... oh my. Misunderstandings are detrimental to morale and cognitive energy and by engaging in empathic communications a path forward is presented.

Learning to recognize what was really said versus what was heard, understanding each party's intentions, eliminating assumptions, being mindful of our own perceptions and biases - these are the building blocks to navigating conflict in an empathic workplace.

Practice

These exercises provide low stakes options to explore responses in high stakes conversations. Improvisation offers a forum to experience how situations could play out, and discover how this impacts our response and theirs.

LIVING IT:
The Empathic Workplace

Principles

How does everyone go back to work and get along after a workplace conflict, interview or difficult conversation? The aftermath of a workplace investigation, for example, can be difficult to navigate. Since there is no easy way to work in teams where individuals are distrustful of one another, best practice is to use the foundational building blocks of an empathic workplace.

An empathic workplace makes empathy, authenticity, and connection the priorities. This is not a one time workout, but a systemic commitment to a routine that embraces authentic communication. This module presents a how-to guide for reasonably addressing the concerns of all parties, accounting for our own contributions and creating a plan to move forward as a culturally empathic workplace.

Practice

The keystone of improvisation is the concept of "Yes, And" to acknowledge the reality of others, let ideas be heard, validate all parties involved, and move forward with support. These exercises reinforce all the lessons of the collaboration of a harmonious ensemble and empathic workplace.