Great employees, the ones who get picked for the best projects and most frequently get promotions are generally more tuned into the needs of their boss and can work well with others. They can anticipate needs and address issues before they become problems. They are also good at harnessing others’ strengths and they exude a positive energy that’s contagious.
How do you define empathy?
S/he tends to focus more on other people and their needs than on himself. He doesn’t crave attention and prefers to do things because it will improve the other person’s life. He has compassion for others and can more readily sympathize with their pain. She is patient when someone shares his problems and looks for ways to lighten the load for his friends, family and co-workers. Empaths are often the most likable people because they are more selfless than others and get real pleasure from helping others shine.
Maximize your ability to empathize
It’s not easy to empathize when you truly dislike a person or when your values clash with theirs. This is why it’s critical to do a lot of investigating before you bother to interview for a job. Once you’re at the interviewing stage, you should already know the values and mission of the firm as well as what types of people thrive there. This will not only make it easier for you to be enthusiastic in your interview but it will set you up for success once you start your new job. Being empathetic doesn’t mean you have to absorb other people’s stress. The most enduring empaths balance self interest with caring for the needs of the group. They know when to say yes and when it’s ok to say no; they set boundaries with their giving so when they do agree to help they can do it wholeheartedly.
Before you interview, make sure you’ll fit in the culture
It’s easier to express your empathy when you’re happy and when you’re values align with your employer. So the first step towards being able to empathize with an employer is choosing a firm where you’ll be most likely to fit into its culture. You’ll be more capable of showing empathy when your values aren’t clashing with theirs.
Put yourself in your boss’s shoes
Imagine you’re the hiring manager and consider what kind of employee you’d want. I’d guess you’d prefer to hire and promote those who show the most enthusiasm about your company’s mission and who demonstrate his ability to work with others to meet your goals. You’d probably want someone who had the strategic, financial acumen and the emotional intelligence to get your company to achieve its goals. This kind of workplace empathy will help you advance your career.
Use this mantra: “What matters to you matters to me”
One way to become more empathetic at work is to take more interest in what your boss’s most acute pain points. Find out what are his main challenges so you could look for ways to alleviate his/her stress and help solve these issues. The more you become attuned to the needs of your boss and to others in your team the easier it will be to find a place you can connect with them. Once you know what their biggest problem is, you could then apply your skills, abilities, and your energy to help him achieve his goals.
Be open to learning new skills
In order to help solve some of the really tough problems at work you may need to learn new skills/disciplines and/or acquire new knowledge. It could mean that you attend a conference or go back to school for more training. Or that you start connecting with more people who think differently from you so you begin to think more broadly. For instance, some extroverts need to work on becoming better listeners and most introverts need to become more assertive sharing their ideas that could help the organization.
The upside of being empathetic at work
More companies today are becoming aware that the best employees are ones who have both the technical skills needed for the job and are high on character traits like empathy. When you focus on developing your character you might find that more doors open for you because you’re bringing more value and positivity to the workplace. A worthy employer will show you appreciation for your efforts and create a mutually beneficial environment where you could become self-actualized, successful, and happy while making your employer more profitable.