There’s no doubt that people want to feel appreciated and listened to at work. As a leader, it’s your job to create an empathetic environment where everyone feels valued. Here are a few simple things you can do to show empathy for your team:
Observe, listen, and ask questions. Stop assuming that you know what people are thinking and feeling — you probably don’t. There’s always more to learn if you’re quiet and curious.
Stop multitasking. If you’re writing an email to one person while talking with another, neither one is getting the best of you. Put your phone down and give your full attention to the person in front of you.
Don’t give in to distractions. There’s always a deadline looming, a crisis to deal with, or an annoyance to put to rest. It’s important to slow down and take a step back from all of this stress. Practice mindfulness, and encourage your employees to do the same. Let them know it’s OK to take some time for themselves.
Adapted from “If You Can’t Empathize with Your Employees, You’d Better Learn To,” by Annie McKee