Empathy is important because it helps us understand how others are feeling so we can respond appropriately to the situation. It is typically associated with social behaviour and there is lots of research showing that greater empathy leads to more helping behaviour. It allows us to have compassion for others, relate to friends, loved ones, co-workers, and strangers, and it has a large beneficial impact on the world.
In what ways is empathy important in the workplace?
For many people, a workplace is a place for teamwork. For things that require a group effort, it’s extremely important to take the time to relate to co-workers. Even if people are not specifically working on one project, it is still important to get along with fellow workers. Using empathy is a vital part of a smooth working relationship. Without it, it’s much easier to fall into disputes and disagreements.
It is also highly important for management to use empathy. Bosses who lack empathy are likely to subject their employees to unfair practices. Managers who are without empathy may push employees to work beyond what is healthy and reasonable or maybe unduly harsh when an employee makes a mistake.
Higher amounts of empathy in the workplace have been linked to increased performance, increased sales, and better leadership abilities.