Note: Because this course is an ongoing series, viewers will not receive a certificate of completion.
Skill Level Beginner
- Empathy is about connecting with someone else's experience and then acting differently as a result. When you're more aware and understand how the person thinks and feels, you are motivated to take that into account when you respond. Here's an exercise to explore. The man on your left is 22. He joined your company nine months ago. The other man is his manager, whom he just asked for a raise. Put yourself first in the supervisor's shoes. What is your reaction to the request as him? What are you thinking and feeling? What are you thinking about saying in reply? Please note down your feelings and response. Now let's consider the younger man's situation. The average Gen Z, born 1995-2015 has $14,700 of debt. Many entry level tasks have been automated, so new Gen Zs entering the workforce are expected to do work three to four years more advanced than previous generations. Thirdly, Generation Z has a lot of anxiety, especially about financial security and their preparedness for work. Lastly, 75% of Gen Zs expect a promotion within a year. This is the new pace of progress. With this knowledge, put yourself in the younger man's shoes. Come up with two different reasons as to why you have asked for a raise. What are you thinking and feeling right now after making this request? Please note all this down. Now imagine you're the supervisor again, understanding your employee's context better, what are you thinking? What questions could you ask to get insights into what's behind his request? What do you feel now about your employee's request? How different are your possible responses compared with earlier? As you become more aware of your employee's reasoning, observe how empathetic understanding drives new behavior and a different reaction based on new information about the situation. It doesn't necessarily mean you will be giving the young new hire a raise right away. However, you understand better what he is experiencing. The financial stress and other pressure he feels. You can react with heightened awareness in a way that stimulates productive discussion about compensation and timing. An open conversation can explore expectations, career steps, and other ideas that he can find supportive, such as student loan and other financial management sessions he could attend. Record the positive outcomes of empathetic responses. The more you notice, the more you become sensitized, the more you are using empathy and making a habit of purposely connecting with people. Be aware, be present, and you can be much more effective.