How To Foster Empathic Communication | Tips For Leaders

These days empathy is seen as a crucial skill by employers. Some companies go as far as listing it as a soft skill. Most HR personnel believe that emphatic organizations drive higher team member motivation, and they are not the only ones that feel this way. Most CEOs feel that it is their job to encourage empathy in the workplace. This big expectation makes some of them struggle with empathy.

How To Foster Empathic Communication | Tips For Leaders
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To promote empathic communication, we need to know what empathy is. Empathy refers to the capacity to understand and share another person's emotions. Accordingly, empathic communication is the ability to communicate and understand the feelings of others and be patient with them and whatever situation they are in. When team members understand and respect each other, it will result in more efficiency and productivity. The team is more likely to have high morale and support each other if empathic communication becomes a general skill.  

Customers will also be on the receiving end of good service if the team members practice empathic communication skills. However, empathic communication in the workplace starts with management. 

If team members feel their managers do not care about their welfare, they would be hard-pressed to empathize with colleagues. Any business leader that intends to grow productivity and boost the employees' morale will make empathic communication an integral part of their interaction. Team members must know that their managers care about their well-being and concerns.

So, how can empathic communication be encouraged in the workplace and incorporated into our day-to-day discussions?

Ways To Encourage Empathic Communication

Show Empathy Through Actions

One way a leader can show that they care about their team members' well-being and concerns is to act on those concerns. This can't be done if you don't listen actively to your employees. Empathic communication involves listening fully to what your team member is saying. You have to give them full attention and let them know their concerns are valid. 

When this is done, you can respond by addressing their concern and using them as a point of contact to ensure that no team member needs to make the same complaints again. If you only listen and show concern without addressing their complaints, it could be seen as a lack of empathy. Therefore, to encourage empathic communication in your business environment, the business leader must take the right action to serve the team better.

Remain Unbiased 

Communication doesn't always require speaking. Sometimes, all that is required is to be attentive and listen to the concerns raised by the other person. Unfortunately, most of us approach a discussion with our minds already made up on the issue. This mindset will make it hard for us to listen actively and show concern to the team member who needs this.  

A great leader with strong empathic communication skills drops their biases at the door before entering the company and approaches every conversation to help out and show compassion. When you listen to understand and not argue, the person you are communicating with feels more relaxed around you and can easily make corrections. Still, you must listen first, even if what the person is saying differs from your opinion.

Carry Employees Along

In an organization, major changes can happen from time to time, and it is expected of the manager to make the necessary decisions. This presents an opportunity for managers to involve their teams in decision-making. The structure of most organizations is such that the team members are more in contact with customers; therefore, when major decisions that are going to affect customers are to be made, it is advisable to talk to the team members, conduct surveys, and ask for their input in the decision-making process. 

Also, a leader should consider the team's opinion in decisions involving team members, like vacation periods. This will convince the team members that their leader and the organization care about their well-being and views.

Embrace Diversity

Making the workplace an inclusive environment helps to promote empathic communication in the business environment. The good thing is that when leaders embrace diversity and address the concerns of marginalized groups within the workplace, it sets an example for the team to follow.

When people different from our groups are included in meetings, given raises, and celebrated for top performances, they will feel seen and important, which will only lead to increased productivity for the organization.

Final Thoughts

Encouraging empathic communication in the workplace is a skill every business leader should incorporate. When empathic communication becomes the norm in an organization, productivity will increase, customers will be satisfied, and team members will be happier working for the organization. 

Leaders who intentionally promote empathic communication in the workplace should adopt active listening, do away with judgment, and check in regularly on their team. Once team members know that you care about their well-being, they are more inclined to work for the company.

1 comment:

  1. So true!!!!!!!!! These are good ways of communication to become a good leader. Unfortunately, not many bosses knows these. So sad!


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