Could empathizing with our co-workers add a new light on the issues we have to solve? Or is it just about recognizing our own emotions in others, and that’s about it?
Since the Einfühlung was defined, researchers have been constantly debating about empathy being a phenomenon dominated by an affective or cognitive perspectives.
Empathy is about relating to emotions and understanding different perspectives. The value of this phenomenon has been diminished because people’s perspectives and perceptions are subjective and difficult to measure. It lacks objectivity and is difficult to replicate the results and make valid assumptions.
Researchers have made progress and tried to study empathy in correlation with moral principles and organizations. Some measurement tools like Active Empathetic Listening (AEL) scale, Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) or The Affect Reading Scale (ARS) were developed to help us to better understand the empathizing phenomenon.
More recently, the Empathy Global Index starts with the assumption that there is a direct link between empathy and financially successful companies. According to this newly created index, to be rated as an empathetic corporation, you must demonstrate empathy across three channels, to your own employees, to customers, and finally to the public via social media.
Empathy is a form of relating to each other that involves awareness of person sitting next to us. It’s a type of awareness that contributes to understanding people and genuine care for their feelings and wellbeing.
Through, empathizing we get to get to know the concerns of the person you are working with. Instead of guessing the reasons behind an action or a behavior, you can actually understand your co-worker’s inner resorts and problems. Empathy compels us to share and understand each other.
Seeing the world through the eyes of another person can empower us to act with a greater sense of honesty and transcend personal and cultural differences. Empathizing experiences in working teams can provide us with the force to further pursue both team targets as well as the wellbeing of team members. It’s a great way to focus on cooperation and establish common grounds through adopting the view of another.
There have been efforts to reach a level of accuracy in measuring this phenomenon, both as a personal trait or as a situational. Some studies showed that positive emotions and sadness evoked more empathic emotion than anger and shame. So is safe to say that positivity can multiply and can generate cooperation.
Empathizing can be used as a tool to identify solutions that can give a synergetic boost to the entire team. There is a good chance that positive concerns about each others will multiply and generate team cohesion. Thought understanding of different points of view, we can strengthen and improve connections between team players.
Surely, everyone had, at least, one experience about truly understanding the colleague’s point of view and helped him improve it, and thus creating a more valuable view with better chances to be implemented. Understanding and helping our colleagues increases our sense of fulfillment and belonging to the team.
By tuning to other people’s perspective, we gain insights and we experience things on different plans with other priorities. We get to extend and enriching ourselves with the experience of a new perspective on other boundaries and rules. It’s like taking a journey to understand ourselves and contribute to our own growth, a chance to understand our own limits.
Empathy definitions state that we are dealing with a match of feelings along with the positive contribution from the empathizer. But surely, without a motived effort to help improve others, we cannot speak of empathy.
More companies are embedding empathy with good results. Sharing similar experiences, worries, and concerns, it’s an altruism lesson for all of us and the learning that comes from this phenomenon can help us to succeed in everything we are striving to achieve.
If we value empathy, not simply as an important personal trait, but as a contribution to the whole organization, we give ourselves the chance to grow and innovate.