“A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together.”-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
At work, empathy is about showing deep respect and care for your staff, as opposed to only setting rules and regulations. Adopting an empathic leadership style makes them feel a sense of belonging, boosts morale, loyalty, and increases productivity. It’s a powerful approach in leadership that improves relationships and ultimately your business.
Why does it matter to understand others’ needs?
To develop trust and build closer relationships to improve the efficiency of your business.
What are the characteristics of an empathic individual?
- Listens and gives their full attention.
- Open and comes from a place of non-judgment and understanding.
What is the role of empathy in the workplace?
- With empathy, you can bring your remote contractor into your life and show an interest in their lives to build trust.
- Filipino remote contractors are willing to open up and start a good working relationship with their remote clients. Through empathy, you can provide them with an opportunity to have safe conversations.
- If you understand how your remote contractors feel, you can help them feel at ease. They will more readily provide feedback or state challenges, enabling you to solve problems more effectively.
- When you understand what your staff is struggling with (personally or professionally) and take action to support their needs, it strengthens your relationships and avoids problems.
Why do people find it hard to show empathy at work?
- It’s not always easy to understand other people’s perspectives especially if you’re coming from a different culture, so it takes time and effort to be empathic and aware of others’ emotions.
- It can be hard for managers to let their guard down due to a sense of competition in the workplace.
- Most managers will focus on business goals (and achieving them) rather than their remote team.
Set the stage for a successful remote working relationship
Looking out for those you lead is as important as achieving your goals. Begin your remote working relationship by clearly outlining the team goals and understanding your remote contractor’s needs and preferences.
Set expectations and clear goals
Clarify responsibilities and communicate clear goals. This helps remote contractors understand what to focus on and encourages self-reliance.
Consider employee needs when setting ground rules
Discuss work styles, abilities, and preferences with your remote contractors, and use these to set ground rules and allocate tasks. Build rapport with each individual in the team, understand their concerns and expectations, and empathise with them by listening.
Use video conferencing to get to know your remote contractors
Take the time to get to know your remote contractors at the beginning and understand their working environment.
Establish protocols for communication preferences
Encourage two-way communication through email, telephone, and video conferencing. Hold regular conference calls (via video conferencing) to acknowledge your remote contractors’ achievements.
Should problems arise, stay calm and be open to perspectives and feedback from your remote contractors in finding solutions. You can still achieve your organisational goals with empathy for your members.
- Get to know your staff and let them get to know you.
- Be attentive to the personalities, needs, thoughts, backgrounds, and feelings of those you lead. Listen.
- Be patient and considerate when things don’t go according to plan.
- Clarify a situation before responding.
- Ask your remote contractors if they need help and how they are experiencing remote working with you.
- Have an open door policy.
- Embrace mistakes and invest time in remote contractors who have difficulty.
- Clarify understanding. Ask for opinions or feedback and determine whether the team understands what is really going on.
- Be real and transparent by admitting mistakes. It proves you are human and have empathy.
Take time to get to know your remote team and let them get to know you. Set aside your assumptions and acknowledge their feelings and emotions, then take positive actions to improve their well-being and help them excel at work. This will build trust and create better relationships, which will improve your business.