Empathic Understanding

wearing someone else's shoes

Learning Who Our Employees Are through Empathic Understanding

 

Our philosophy behind the Art of Love is Good Business draws on several key ingredients. One of these is Empathic Understanding. The following is an excerpt from our upcoming book. In one chapter, we explore Empathic Understanding and its relevance to how we manage our employees. We hope you enjoy this short exploration. . .

An essential part of optimizing our effectiveness at achieving our management goals, is to manage our employee for who the employee is, not who we think the employee should be.

We all likely understand, at least to some degree, that we can’t use a one-size-fits-all approach to management. We need to manage employees as individuals​. This means working with each employee differently​ based on who they are as an individual person–someone with all the knowledge, skills, hopes, fears, weaknesses, and aspirations unique to them as an individual Human Being. This is critical information we need in order to be effective mangers.

Of course,  managing employees individually seems like a great idea. However, if you have tried to do this, you have likely found it very challenging, if not impossible, to do very well.

The key to doing this successfully​ is in discovering ​ who our employees truly are. As managers, we tend to see our employees only in terms of our expectations about the work they do and how they should do it.  This limited perspective of our employees obstructs our ability to manage them as individual people. It leaves us without vital details and nuances that give us a fuller context to the situation at hand, as well as a suitable awareness of their unique strengths and weaknesses as individuals. All of which is the kind of information we need to support them, as unique individuals, to be at the top of their game.

Context is everything. Without​ the right context, we don’t stand a chance of doing our best work as managers.

Context plays an essential role in optimizing the effectiveness of our management efforts in this area. The knowledge and insight we gain through Empathic Understanding brings context to the content of our interactions with our employees. Context gives us the back story to what the employee is doing and saying. We need the right context to know the full meaning and significance of employees’ actions, gestures, and words.

When we attempt to manage our employees without sufficient information and context, it leads to a lot of miscommunication, frustration, disappointment, and conflict with them. It usually causes a waste of energy and a loss of productivity in their work. This tension and stress can eventually lead to burn-out and disengagement for both them and us. This is also how we end up losing our passion and the vision of the difference we want to make for our organization and the people work with.

Empathic Understanding is a key part of the answer to how to manage our employees as individual Human Beings​. Empathic Understanding​ is how we can know our employees as individual people. It gives us access to the knowledge we need to manage our employees for who they are, not who we think they should be.

Looking beyond our expectations to see our employees as whole individuals doesn’t take anything away from the work we need them to do or the results we want them to deliver. It only changes​ how well informed we are about how to support and empower them. It provides us with the subtle details and context to know how to make the difference we want to make.

Guide Passion with Love and Wisdom

Guiding Passion to Success
Guiding Passion to Success with Love and Wisdom

It seems to me that while having a passion is essential to business success, not all passions are created equal. Some are more wholesome than others. Passion without Love and Wisdom is like a locomotive without a track to guide it. Love guides our passion and creativity to what is profitable for both the organization and its people.         Arlen Pauler

What challenges and successes have you faced in using Love to guide Passion in the workplace?

Now it’s your turn. . .

Share your comments and stories about how Love creates a better way to do business.

Together we can make a difference that truly matters.

Defining Love for Business Success

Each of us sharing our experiences and thoughts about how Love leads to business success.

Under Construction – Love Defined

 

We updated our Love Defined page and wanted to share the current state of our understanding with you, our readers.

By sharing your insights and reactions, you become a part of this on-going journey of discovery about the nature of Love and its role in the success of business.

 

What do we mean by the word Love and what does it have to do with business success?

From our hands-on experience working in the business environment, we have come to the following explanation of Love and the role it plays in the success or failure of business organizations.

In its most basic definition:

Love is a heartfelt commitment to the well-being of a person, place, or thing.

It is the power that is released when we allow ourselves to truly care about what is good and wholesome for ourselves and others.

So what does this have to do with business? In the business environment, Love takes the form of real commitment to the Well-Being of the organization and its people, and the fulfillment of their mission. The presence of Love in the work place stirs authentic interest in customer happiness, the desire to help each other grow professionally and personally, and a passion for the success of the organization. [Read more...]

Hope and the Art of Love in Business

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While it is not all that apparent, what Dalai Lama shares here about hope is a key part of the ‘Art of Love is Good Business’.

When we look at our Life at work through the lens of Love, we can see hope we would otherwise not see. With hope we have the courage to look through the lens of Love. Love and hope are traveling companions.

When Love and hope shape the way we Live our Life at work, we build strength of character and joy; and a better way to do business.

 

“The very purpose of our life is happiness, which is sustained by hope. We have no guarantee about the future, but we exist in the hope of something better. Hope means keeping going, thinking, ‘I can do this.’ It brings inner strength, self-confidence, the ability to do what you do honestly, truthfully and transparently.”

dalai lamaDalai Lama

THE ART OF LOVE CAN BE SO SIMPLE

Sometimes ‘The Art of Love is Good Business’ is as simple as the caring expressed in a smile.

INTELLIGENT ACTS OF KINDNESS: WHY IT PAYS TO BE NICE

Kindness

‘Intelligent Acts of Kindness’ is a synonym for ‘The Art of Love is Good Business’. Here’s an article that goes in to the details of all that.

Please share a story about a time when you experienced kindness was good business.

Click to read Fred’s article: INTELLIGENT ACTS OF KINDNESS: WHY IT PAYS TO BE NICE

WHY EMPLOYEE OPINION SURVEYS ARE STILL ESSENTIAL WORKPLACE TOOLS

Surveys are great tools for mining the riches of information within employees; they will always be essential. Turning to employees to hear what they have to say is the first step of wise leadership and smart planning. However, there lies within the people of any organization much more than just raw information about where they are coming from that surveys retrieve. There is a treasure trove of passion, creativity, and courage to succeed that can be harnessed only through personal rapport and camaraderie; a deeper Human connection built on mutual trust and caring.
In this quality of work environment there is a team spirit that makes continuous improvement conversations an ordinary part of the work day and strategic tools like surveys soar in their effectiveness.There is an under lying attitude to this quality of team environment; one of caring about each other as Human Beings; dare I even say a Love for each other’s well-being as team mates. This is why ‘The Art of Love is Good Business’.
Arlen Pauler

At the heart of ‘The Art of Love is Good Business’ is looking at our work with Love and reverence.

Persue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.
Henry David Thoreau

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Attributes of ‘The Art of Love is Good Business’.

All of these words are attributes of ‘The Art of Love is Good Business’.

Kindness. Decency. Graceful. Thoughtful. Appreciative. Caring. All are ‘people words,’ all ‘repeat biz’ words, all ‘higher profits’ words.”

Tom Peters

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From the Folks at Positive Outlooks

http://loveisgoodbusiness.org/134/