During the course of your life, you spend more than half of your time working with people in the office or in client meetings. If you’re putting in 40-hour work-weeks, imagine how much time that is. If you had to go to work every day and your office was a hostile, unfriendly place, you won’t be able to do your best or perform well.

Empathy at work is one of the pillars on which a lasting, sustainable, and supportive office culture is built. Empathy can help you build a strong rapport with your clients, business heads, and peers. If you’re in a customer-centric business, empathy will help you create a comfortable, trusted, and authentic work environment.

Many of us are unclear about how to show empathy at work, but it’s not that hard. If you’re someone who listens to your coworkers or customers when they have a problem, understand where they’re coming from, and are sensitive to their emotions, you’re an empathetic person.

You can develop empathy at workplace settings with intuition, self-awareness, and presence of mind. Harappa Education’s Decoding Others course is designed to teach you how you can read someone and understand the way they work with the power of observation and deduction. You can improve your collaborative skills with this course because it will help you be sensitive and empathetic. Let’s look at how you can develop empathy and why it’s important to nurture empathy at workplace settings.

Why You Need Empathy At The Workplace

A workplace that refuses to foster relationships built on trust, mutual respect, and empathy can’t be sustained for long. A diverse and inclusive workplace promotes a compassionate ecosystem because it respects each of its employees. Once you develop empathy at workplace settings, you can connect with your coworkers and clients to build lasting relationships with them. These relationships are based on trust and support.

One of the examples of empathy in the workplace would be an appraisal meeting with your manager. You’ll expect your manager to be attentive and kind, guiding you on how to be better at your job. Instead, if they’re dismissive and unreceptive, it might completely alter the way you approach your work in the future. Some might even resign due to the cold and uncooperative environment.

It’s important to nurture a work environment that’s well attuned to the emotional wellbeing and mental health of its employees. You’ll be much happier working in an organization that places importance on interpersonal skills.

An important reason why you need empathy at work is the way it can help you become an indispensable part of your team. Being perceptive to people’s emotions, identifying what’s bothering your teammate, and sharing the workload to ease the pressure contribute toward a healthy team structure. An organization will benefit immensely if teams are driven by mutual respect. You’ll be keener to work toward achieving organizational goals when you get along with everyone on your team.

How To Build Empathy At Work

Encouraging empathy at work can help your organization persevere during difficult periods.

Here are some ways in which you can develop empathy at the workplace:

  • Learn to listen to other people’s problems

  • Pay attention to the events taking place around you

  • Develop a system of giving and receiving feedback to encourage communication

  • If you want to say no, try to do that with sensitivity

  • Foster meaningful relationships with peers and managers

  • Mentor your juniors at work and be open to their concerns

  • Attend sensitivity training to adopt a sensitive attitude

Examples Of Empathy At The Workplace

Let’s discuss some practical examples of empathy at the workplace:

1. Say a shipment is due on Monday and you get a notification on Friday that the last few boxes containing the products are damaged. Because it’s the weekend, everyone’s ‘out of office’ and you have no idea what to do. In this situation, your coworker steps up and agrees to visit the delivery company with you to handle the situation. Regardless of the fact that this was your task alone, with your coworker’s help you were able to resolve the issue and send out the shipment on time.

2. Imagine that you work in a telecom service center. A 65-year old customer comes to you with an issue with their 3G network. Once you hear them out, you realize that they had accidentally put their phone on airplane mode. Instead of chastising them or looking down on them for making a silly error, you sit them down, fix their network, and take a few minutes to explain what they can do if this happens again.

It’s easy to become complacent and forget about the nuances of working with people. Human beings are creatures of habit and it’s difficult to adopt a new stance or alter your ways. But with proper insight and a willingness to change, you can develop empathy at work. Decoding Others teaches your important concepts like The Decoding Triad and The Deduction Model to understand people’s sensibilities and avoid making snap judgments. Become a trusted member of your team and a reliable coworker by equipping yourself with the right skills.


Explore topics such as Empathy, Traits of an Empathetic Person & How to be Empathetic from our Harappa Diaries blog section.

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