It's no secret that the Australian Federal Election has been a pretty divisive one.
The Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition have been locked in a bitter battle, with both sides accusing the other of lies and mud-slinging. As a result, many people are feeling pretty angry and frustrated.
But can we promote empathy in the workplace, even when our own Political Leaders are setting such a bad example?
I think we can. Empathy is about understanding how someone else is feeling, and it's something we can all practice, regardless of our political beliefs.
When we take the time to step into someone else's shoes, we can see things from their perspective and better understand their point of view. This doesn't mean we have to agree with them, but it does mean that we can appreciate their situation and respond in a way that is supportive and helpful.
Displaying empathy in the workplace can help to build strong relationships, resolve conflict, and create a more positive work environment.
Just last week, I shared an article from Forbes on Linkedin, this article talked about how it's not just what you say but also HOW YOU SAY IT that matters when building relationships with people at work. This post received over 20,0000 views and was shared 41 times. Surely that gives a positive sign that people care about empathy in the workplace?!
A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of New South Wales found that empathy is essential for creating a positive and productive workplace.
The study, which surveyed more than 1,000 employees, found that those who felt empathy from their supervisor were more engaged with their work and more likely to stay with the company. The study also found that empathy was linked to increased job satisfaction and reduced stress levels. Furthermore, employees who reported feeling empathy from their supervisor were more likely to report higher levels of creativity and innovation. The study highlights the importance of empathy in the workplace and underscores the need for policies and practices that foster empathy among employees.
I think we can agree, that empathy seems to be in short supply in the current election. Politicians seem more interested in scoring points against their opponents than in working together for the common good.
So, can we really hope for more empathy in the workplace when our Political Leaders are setting such a bad example?
It's possible that the answer is yes. In spite of the divisiveness of politics, there are still many examples of empathy and cooperation in the workplace. As more and more people come to realise the importance of empathy, it's likely that we'll see more of it in the years to come.
However, change starts with each of us.
Let’s commit to being more understanding and compassionate towards our coworkers. If we do this, we can begin to see a real transformation in the way our workplaces operate.
Empathy is a powerful tool that can help us understand others, connect with them on a deeper level, and create more meaningful work relationships. It’s time we all start thinking of some ways that we can start showing more empathy at work.