The following statements make me angry. Every one of them in fact.

  • 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 one cares if i hate my job.

I can tell my colleague I am leaving the company as soon as possible. I can complain to my boss that my assignments are not appropriate for my skill sets. I can criticize every policy my employer dictates. But, nothing will really change because my issues are not important.

  • No one cares if it was my idea.

I can remind everyone that organizing the meeting was my doing. I can broadcast a message that I was the one who got a project started. I can tell everyone throughout the day that several tasks are now compete due to my efforts. But, there won’t be any authentic thanks offered because my accomplishments are not important.

I really don’t like hearing any of the above. That is not the way it’s supposed to work.

This is the way I want my job to work. People should know I work hard. They should appreciate my commitment. And if I’m not happy with how things are going at work I want to be able to tell everyone. The team should console me. And, for sure, if I was the one to think of a great idea I want the world to know. I want all parties to recognize it was me who thought of that awesome solution.

Turns out, unless I were to have a one person company, where I work is made up of many individuals besides myself. And certainly no one denies that my work ethic, my feelings and my accomplishments are mine to own. But my efforts, complaints and contributions will only be recognized and valued in direct proportion to how much I acknowledge and empathize with my colleagues.

The lessons of maintaining an Empathic Workplace are clear in the area of reciprocity. I can not expect my hard work to be noticed if I do not recognize the considerable efforts of my coworkers. My complaints will fall on deaf ears if I do not take heed of my teammate’s gripes. And there will be no applause for my brilliant suggestions if I do not go out of my way to praise the ideas raised by colleagues.

I have noticed, unfortunately, that the world does not revolve around me. The concept of being on a team is not new to me. And the notion that everyone is in pursuit of their own dreams is not a revelation either. But, improvisation and empathy training helped me understand I will have no satisfaction myself without helping others advance at the same time.

The skills we teach in our Empathic Workplace courses build up an individual and team’s ability to authentically communicate. This is how I have learned to recognize the effort, the emotions and the contributions of others, which in turns allows others to see mine. We would like to help you and your team as well.

I am improving my work life by continuing to enhance my empathic skills.


Empathic Workplace offers an applied improv approach to team building, communication, creativity and learning emotional intelligence for executives, managers and employees.

A few example modules include:

  • Magic Words: Communication and “Yes, And”
  • On the Spot: Public Speaking and Performance Anxiety/Stage Fright
  • Heal Thyself: Humor and Self Care
  • Let Go: Stress Reduction Through Improv
  • Us is More: Group Mind and Team-Building
  • Feelin’ It: Emotional Intelligence and Empathy
  • and many more . . .