Developing Empathy – a celebration of World Kindness Day

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, empathy is defined as ‘the ability to understand and share the feelings of another’. The ability to empathise with others is undoubtedly valuable when it comes to interacting with other people in the workplace. Empathy allows you to:

Actively listen👂🏼- being an empathetic person requires you to actively listen and respond to what other people say to you.

Be a better team player 👫 – being sensitive to the emotions of your peers makes you much easier to get along with and a valuable team player.

Be a better leader 🗣 – if you’re able to put yourself in the shoes of your team, you’ll be better able to understand their strengths, weaknesses and working style. This will allow you to manage them in the most productive way possible.

Respect and engage with people who are different to you 🤝 – empathy allows for cultural relativism and a greater understanding of difference. For example, understanding people’s norms, values and beliefs based on their background and not judging them by personal, subjective standards and beliefs. 

Be an effective leader – empathetic leaders are often more successful in motivating and inspiring their teams. By understanding the needs and concerns of employees, leaders can make informed decisions, provide appropriate support, and create an environment where everyone feels heard and valued.

Innovate and create – empathy fosters a diverse and inclusive work environment. When individuals from different backgrounds and experiences feel understood and valued, they are more likely to contribute unique perspectives, leading to increased innovation and creativity within the organization.

Ultimately, empathy helps you be a better leader, a better team player, a better communicator and most importantly, a better person all-round. Empathy helps create a supportive workplace culture, making employees feel valued and motivated to contribute their best efforts. This makes it a hugely crucial, and chronically overlooked, future skill!Empathy is a crucial skill taught across our Debate Mate curriculums; along with the ability to actively listen, critically analyse and thoughtfully respond to the arguments of others. If you want to find out more about how we help develop empathy in the workplace, don’t hesitate to get in touch!