Where Empathy Fits at Work
For each of us, you and our team here at OrangeBall, work is only a part of our lives. On the other side, once our 9-5 or 7-7 ends, there’s another side to our lives that our coworkers and clients never see. When we walk out the door, we become spouses and parents, siblings and friends, and our responsibilities shift depending on the roles we are stepping into. This past week has been a reminder that all those pieces fit together like a puzzle, and that in the middle of that puzzle sits empathy.
Here’s where empathy fits…
The next time you sit down at a meeting or a lunch, with your team or a client, take a moment to remind yourself that each individual is bringing unique experiences to the table. Not only are they bringing their expertise and knowledge, but equally important, they’re bringing where they’re at in the moment.
Someone has a child who is sick.
Someone has an aging parent that they’re trying to care for.
Someone is selling their home.
Someone has a relationship they’re struggling in.
Someone is dealing with a mental health issue no one knows about.
Someone has a financial issue that is putting pressure on them.
We all bring something to the table, and much of it is unseen.
And so, with that in mind, empathy is the key to making the most of those relationships. When we approach each moment knowing that the people in our lives are dealing with things we can’t see, empathy allows us to show them a little grace and give them a little wiggle room when they seem “off” or not present. We’ve all been there.
The knowledge that each of these individuals is more than just who they show up as at work also creates the space we need to be flexible with our time, and adjust to where they’re at. There’s been a little bit of that here at OrangeBall this week, with one of the OrangeBall kids in the hospital, and we’re grateful to say our clients have shown us an amazing amount of flexibility, grace, and empathy. It’s been a good reminder to keep everything in perspective, and to be there for others beyond just working together.
The next meeting you walk into, or phone call you jump on, add a little empathy to your mindset. You’re only seeing a slice of what others are going through. So choose, before you start, to make empathy part of your approach.