While composing part two of this short series on Progress Through Compassion,
the topic of empathy often comes up when I hear from management teams who are struggling to balance productivity with workplace independence. Employees want to be able to assert their independence as everyone works differently toward the same goal. This is a beneficial thing, however it can also be detrimental. Many times, employers find themselves feeling a loss of direction as their employees scatter into different procedures and methods.
So how do we find that sweet spot where our employees feel appreciated, respected, and independently productive? For many in an employer’s position, this is where empathy becomes a skill to learn.
Here are two key points from that new baseline to regain balance and productivity.
Expand your vocabulary to avoid words like “control” or “policy”.
These words are obviously functional and important in any working environment. But what if we flip that into this: Control is actually a function of maintaining balance. Approaching the same principle with a less polarizing perspective by simply switching a word helps to give you a platform while letting your employee stay open to ideas and even constructive criticism.
Take notes- Not about work. Not about profit margins or Power Points. Take notes about what makes your employee tick. What makes them thrive? What changes their demeanor or makes their day?
We often get lost in the technical side of conducting business while losing site of WHO is conducting it. This is your baseline- your key to moving forward.
I often think of a particularly fantastic Seinfeld reference where “Anyone can take reservation.”
Think of this as learning how to “*hold* the reservation.”