We, being the social creatures, live life with the support of one another in all activities of our lives whether they are trivial or significant. We like to share our joy, emotions, and feelings with others. It is difficult for anyone to stay aloof. We have to be social, at least to some extent to ensure self-development and peace of mind. We need to exchange thoughts with one another and prefer to share our skills and knowledge with others for mutual benefits. So, in order to get acknowledgment, one needs to be empathetic. Here, one has to understand the role of empathy. Empathy is the state of mind that enables you to neutrally participate in others feelings and experiences. You can visualize the gravity of the situation another person is passing through. If you transform this thought in the words of one of the eminent management gurus Peter Drucker, it will read as “for any situation, you get a different aspect of results when you see the same thing in other man’s shoe”.
Empathy is the mental state of putting yourself in others’ place and seeing the entire thing in his purview. Precisely this is the reason why understanding empathy requires a lot of knowledge about human behavior. Human behavior explores the relationship of people which needs a close analysis. Behaviour controlled through mind which is very tender. It is possible to understand a person’s inner sense by becoming empathetic. Empathy plays a vital role in life. Its effect is seen profound at a workplace where most of the people spend eight to ten hours. They come across conflicts, diversities, management issues, technologies, rivalries, etc., there. Empathy plays a crucial role in managing diversities in the organization. The very reason behind this is the homogeneous or heterogeneous masses of various diversified groups feel that they only understand the problems and challenges in a better way. However, empathy should not be misconstrued as sympathy, but it may or may not be preceded by sympathy. The prominence of empathy construes to know the other person’s beliefs, values, emotions, and feelings. Emotions are the core ingredients to sense and assess other’s feelings. When a person is emotionally charged to the fullest extent, he/she can experience and understand other’s feelings in a better way. In the same way, gestures and postures play a significant role from the viewpoint of empathy. Sympathy is often expressed gestures and postures, which leads to empathy. In an organization, various decisions are taken for growth and development of the business. These decisions bring benefits intrinsically as well as extrinsically. Some may like the decisions; some may find them disagreeable, who later on, turn disgruntled towards them. The disgruntled employees show resentment, anger, and frustration and outrage the sanctity of the decisions.
With all these, a skirmish develops amongst the acceptors and the people against the same. Ultimately, the work environment gets polluted with conflicts and the cold war, and a revenge taking phase comes into existence there. In this scenario, arguments, cross arguments, mudslinging, etc. become routine affairs among the employees which obstruct the growth of the organization. The decisions do not fructify because of the misunderstanding of a few nonchalant employees. If the value of empathy is understood and recognized properly and if it is implemented efficiently, this type of situation can be curbed, and in this type of situations, empathy works to subsidize the turmoil. Not only that, the scenario will be quite more positive where the disgruntled will not go for a lock-horned situation even if they disagree with the decisions. There are some managers who tend to console their workforces when they are passing through tensed situations by practicing empathy. They go to the root cause of the conflicts and try to pacify the discontented personnel without becoming emotionally burdened. They hold mastery, courage, and conviction to apply the qualities of empathy without getting influenced by the feelings, anger, and frustration of the disgruntled employees. By this, they remain impartial rather than being sympathetic to them. A manager who shows sympathy towards the causes of their disgruntlement, cannot remain neutral, and if he becomes so, he will fail to take corrective actions. As an expert in empathy, you have to understand the inner sense of your employees, but you will keep yourself untouched with what they feel. Since you are not emotionally involved, you will be more analytical to draw the conclusion of the problem. Practicing empathy is not that much easy as it includes a search for the right course of action through an in-depth analysis of others’ feelings with remarkable control over self-emotions. Efficient and successful managers tend to show mastery to generate an emphatic working environment by which, they know when to exert and what to expect from their employees.
Some of the tips to encourage emphatic working environment are given here below:
Share your plan, actions, and thoughts with your employees.
Be a patient listener to their opinions.
Show respect and concern to your employees’ feelings and they will, in turn, return the same to you.
If there is any unjust or unfair, settle the same in an amicable manner.
Teach them emotional technique so that they can master this skill.
Keep an effective communication channel opened for mutual benefit and trust.
Encourage tolerance and create an atmosphere of positive and constructive feedback.
Acknowledge acts of kindness, passion, and brain-storming.
Care for their issues even they are of minor nature.
We often misconstrue that empathy is just to acknowledge the other person’s feelings but in reality, it is much more than appreciating the inner stake of other’s feelings