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Empathy in the Workplace

A missing attribute in the workplace nowadays seems to be empathy, especially in the IT space.

A missing attribute in the workplace nowadays seems to be empathy, especially in the IT space. Why is that? Are we living in a world where leaders see valued team members as inert objects or commodities? Have we lost our sense of humanity, our connection to others? Have we become desensitized? One could make a case for all those reasons and many more.  

When I think of empathy in the workplace, I naturally draw a correlation to servant leadership which is something we hold near and dear at Globalstar. Like with most things in business, the heartbeat of an organization is set by way of leadership and is evidenced everyday within the culture of the organization. Either leaders care about the people they represent, or they don’t. It's as simple as that. And this is one of those 100 percent deals. You are either all in on this greater ideal or not at all. Many leaders may not see nor believe this, but that doesn’t make it any less true. 

The way I see it, true leadership is based on empathy and relatability. You know, being able to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. When we think about it, there is a respectable nobility and dignity in empathizing with others. And no role or title puts anyone above another. Everyone deserves our respect, and everyone makes mistakes, even you. Whenever we lose sight of our basic civility and compassion and throw our ego around, overly punishing people for their mistakes, we begin to lose sight of our humanity and become indifferent or apathetic. 

The beauty of empathy is that it escorts an authentic connection between team members and leadership. This connection allows you to conjoin the greater cause or your organization in a vision that moves you toward something exceptional. Having empathy is the ability to see, hear, and feel with not only your mind, but your heart. Show me an organization that has gone from good to great, and I will show you an organization that places a high priority on their people. People first should be the mantra. Doing so creates a culture where if something matters to a dedicated team member, whether it be personal or professional, then it matters to leadership and everyone else within the organization. 

And this holds true whether it be employees, customers, or vendors. How many times have we seen vendors abused in online reviews or chastised in person, for that matter? And the same people who are on the delivery end of such abuse are normally the first to cry foul when they are on the receiving end of similar chastising. Einstein once said: A person experiences life as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of consciousness.” Basically, never lose sight of your humanity and remember that life is a mirrored reflection of you, so what is put out there, you own. You know, Karma. 

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