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It was a sunny April day. The air was fresh and the walks ahead of us enjoyed it.
I looked at the beautiful Embarcadero, located near ours San Francisco office, feeling grateful for the work next to such a stunning view.
Then I turned my gaze to Tim, my walking companion in the afternoon. We were at one of the many walking meetings we shared over the past year. But this time it was different.
Tim, a regular-talking employee, pulled heels and seemed unhappy every time I asked for status updates. He lowered his head, answering only short answers.
Something was wrong.
As his supervisor, I could easily associate his behavior with a strict stance by following him, or asserting my authority. But over fourteen years entrepreneurship taught me one: A harsh, contradictory answer will never be the answer.
Instead, I slowed down and asked him how things were going at home? “Is everything okay?”
Tim then confided that recently his father had s stroke, and that he alternately spent nights in the hospital, leaving him tense and down.
I nodded. “Come so sorry it sounds very difficult.”
“How can I support you?” I suggested.
We spent some time talking about relieving his workload and even planned a few weekends for him to be with his family.
After our conversation everything was as if the weight had been lifted. In our meeting, he began to look forward to participating, even offering feedback.
It took only a few seconds of my time to show genuine care and concern, but that was enough for Tim to know I was on his side.
Similar: How companies lead with empathy
One of the most forgotten skills in business
Empathy – the ability to recognize and understand other people’s feelings, “dress yourself in other people’s shoes” is crucial guide skill. Common sense tells us that this is the majority of the founders of human power in their arsenal, but in fact one that many rulers often err.
In the beginning speech June 15, 2014 American business tycoon and philanthropist, Bill Gates, stood in front of an audience at Stanford Town and spoke about directing optimism in the belief to do better.
“If we have optimism but we eat, we feel empathy,” he said, “then it’s important how much we master the secrets of science. Not really problem solving; just working on puzzles. “
This applies to my experience as CEO of my company JotForm. We started with one goal: to create drag tool which allow people to quickly create forms, even if they know how to encode. As a software engineer, I was the first to say the greatest wise man. I like to deal with a complex issue and make it easy and accessible.
We have been honored to expand our small startup for business with over 250 employees and seven million users worldwide.
And what we’ve learned from the founder over all these years is that the main thing is not people, not software. Connecting to our team and our customers is a true vision that drives us forward.
I believe that the secret of our success lies in empathy.
Out of sympathy
Our culture is fascinated by a certain business stereotype: tough leaders who push the envelope and only care about themselves. But at what cost?
The lack of empathy in the workplace is due to the growing lack of employment of workers, which affects productivity. It costs businesses more than $ 600 billion per year.
How does this happen? Simple: confusing empathy with compassion.
Sympathetic – sorry for the position of the employee allows the same thing to understand their feelings and needs or build a relationship.
Instead of annoying their employees or ordering them to break away, effective managers know how to express themselves by expressing genuine concern and asking how they can improve the situation.
While sympathy is just a response on the surface that keeps you at a distance.
On the other hand, empathy – it’s the prospect of a shift – is truly presenting yourself in another person’s shoes, and allows you to connect on a deeper level.
Empathy encourages productive conversations
“As a manager, you should always start with where people are before you try to take them where you want.” – Jim Ron, entrepreneur and author
Many entrepreneurs mistakenly believe that empathy is something that is either born or not. But as Microsoft’s CEO, Sadia NadellaEmphasizes empathy is a muscle that needs to be practiced.
Allotment, who has gone through many personal problems – trying to get a green card to come to the US, creating a new life for herself and her family, adapting to the disabilities of her children – all these struggles gave her emotional understanding and sensuality. create a shared company culture.
He understood simply the attitude towards employees and customers on an intellectual level, he understood that everyone should feel supported to one degree or another.
Empathy is expressed only by the human and the caring; thanks also practically like Peter Bragman notes in the plot for Harvard Business Review. This can turn a confrontational conversation into a joint one – allowing all parties to come to a common truth.
If we can take our hard lessons and guide them in ways to communicate with our team, we encourage participation. We do it actively to listenby being open to feedback and paying attention to staff and attentively.
“First feel sorry,” Bragman writes. “It’s been a long time and it’s not difficult. Start with a relationship – even if you feel you have an established – because showing care and concern – that’s what creates this relationship. “
Just asking if anyone is okay is enough to let them know they are ready to show up at the count.