A supplement to an article titled “Sympathy, Empathy & the Working World” published in the October edition of OfficePro magazine, written by Dr. LaKeisha Thorpe.
Leading with empathy can feel uncomfortable, but if we can embrace that feeling, we will have more inclusive and dynamically creative work environments. Workplaces that are led with empathy will see more employee retention and smoother employee relations. Empathy also allows us not to consistently fall prey to the pitfalls of hierarchy and relational identity; empathy helps us to be more than a job title, it reminds us to be human. Try, be uncomfortable, and try again to introduce empathetic leadership into your work environment.
- Listen with the intent to understand rather than intent on forming a response
- Keep focus on a growth mindset
- Stay open to criticism
- Repeat the story you’ve been told before responding
- Be transparent about wanting to fully understand before responding
- Ask questions
- Refrain from holding judgement
- Remain vulnerable
- Challenge your preconceived notions
- Ask how you can support another
- Remain curious
- Engage in creative inquiry
- Engage in one on one connections
- Make use of cultural humility
- Remain open to transcultural environments
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About the author: Dr. LaKeisha Thorpe is Chief Officer of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia. Her work is firmly embedded in DEI, belonging, and higher education and consulting. For inquires and information visit, LinkedIn.com/lakeishathorpe.