The easiest environment for empathy to fail is in a group setting, and that makes sense because we tend to gravitate towards people that are similar to us in several ways. When we're at work, however, we don't always have the option of being around people who mirror our views. As a result, small disagreements can balloon into steep team divisions. Empathy is hard to come by for those not considered on the correct side of the fence.
- Empathy in groups that we're forced to join,…like those at work, is nearly impossible,…and it makes sense as to why.…We choose our friends because they are almost exactly…like us, so it's easier to agree and empathize with them.…Some people we don't choose to spend time with,…like our coworkers, well that's a different story.…With that in mind, it starts to make sense…as to why it's sometimes a little bit difficult…to get along with the people at work,…especially if they're visibly different from us.…
When we're at work, we're in a group…that isn't necessarily a group that we've chosen,…and we must find something redeeming about our new allies.…The easiest thing to do, well, that's to cling to those…that do the same job as us, or that look like us,…or have the same views as us.…Well, here's where the problem comes in.…If we can't find something relatable about our coworkers,…it's significantly harder to understand them,…or their point of view,…and if we can't see their side it's nearly impossible…to empathize with them.…
Lynda.com is a PMI Registered Education Provider. This course qualifies for professional development units (PDUs). To view the activity and PDU details for this course, click here.
The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
- What is empathy?
- How to be empathetic at work
- Practicing positive communication
- Identifying communication styles
- Approaching difficult conversations
- Practicing empathy in groups
- Fostering collaboration
- Encouraging coworkers