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Empathy in the Workplace:  Now, more than ever.

In the H.O.P.E. Workshop from Workplace Healing LLC, we discuss the importance of EMPATHY in the workplace. Under normal circumstances (pre-COVID-19), we practiced empathy with our clients by asking them to put themselves in the shoes of a co-worker, after that co-worker has experienced a life disruption. 

We define Empathy as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, and Sympathy as the feeling of pity and sorrow for someone else’s life disruption. 

Today, there’s no time left for practice.

Now is the time for leaders and managers to step into empathy. Workplace Healing recommends the following tips to help you become more empathetic with your team: 

  • Recognize that life situations for each employee and their family are currently magnified.
  • Recognize that for many, the unknown is frightening, such as how long will our lives be disrupted?
  • Understand that fear can often override the ability to focus on work; fear of getting sick, fear of a loved one contracting the virus.
  • Life disruptions that took time away from work before can become heightened. Elderly relatives in isolation and new mandates for funerals are a frightening reality.
  • Be flexible with an employee’s work time.  Recognize the best time for “Jill” to work may seem unusual.  Is it from 5 am to 9 am, before her kids get on their school internet sessions? Or is it from 6 pm to 9 pm, when smaller children are sleeping?
  • As a leader, remind yourself to emanate hope and offer help to others.

After we are past this collective and significant life disruption, our objective will be to look back on these days with pride for our work. Pride in being an empathetic leader and modeling empathy for our team, and pride in appreciating the varied strengths and resilience among our co-workers.  


Workplace Healing LLC – An innovative approach to healing in the workplace. 


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