Lori Shelby, Ph.D., Founder & CEO
Professionalism is Not the Most Important Thing in 2020
In business many of us look for a professional attitude and appearance as a measure of someone’s business acumen and ability to succeed. In a year with a global pandemic, locusts, floods, large scale forest fires, and now brain eating amoebas in Texas, it is a good time to focus on empathy. The need for empathy applies to our employees, customers, co-workers, friends, and family. In other words, everyone.
Awesome Business Resources on Empathy
There are a lot of resources on how to incorporate empathy into your business:
2020 Challenges People are Facing
Remember that people are still experiencing difficult life stressors having nothing to do with climate change or global pandemics, such as the death of a loved one, divorce, chronic illness, emotional problems, etc. Although you can argue every year has its challenges, I think we can all agree that we feel 2020 has had more than its share regarding natural (and unnatural) disasters. Here is a list of just some of the challenges people are dealing with in 2020 around the world:
Walking in Someone Else’s Shoes in 2020
In 2020, I suggest that we consider the individual we are talking to may have problems far beyond our imagination (or not depending on how challenging your personal circumstances are). Do they have a safe home to go back to? Financial security? Enough safe food and water? Remember Maslow’s hierarchy? Just as a basic reminder, when people don’t have their basic needs met (food, water, sleep, safety) the base of their pyramid collapses and, of course, when their psychological needs aren’t being met, the pyramid collapses as well.
This may be a good time to lower our expectations regarding how people are going to approach work, and to communicate more than is comfortable. Quite simply, now more than ever, it is time to walk in other people’s shoes. What does this mean? Consider their needs, their wants, their perspective, and try not to judge or weigh them against your own circumstances, or that of others.
5 Simple Ways to Show Empathy in 2020