In times of disruption, all of us can appreciate a heavy dose of empathy. We are all navigating an ever-changing reality unfolding before our eyes. It’s VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainly, Complexity and Ambiguity) on steroids.
At Clearwater, we are experimenting with some creative ways to spark interaction and engagement; social distancing doesn’t have to mean distance and disconnect. So far, what we have learned is that showing empathy drives engagement, supports creativity and instills a sense of inclusion and belonging.
Through our continued engagement with clients, albeit virtual, Clearwater continues to learn from the good works organically unfolding with our clients. We challenge you to reflect on how you can show up and bring your best and most productive selves despite these unprecedented and stressful times.
Whether it’s recognizing that a teammate is taxed by balancing unique demands, or acknowledging our extroverted colleagues struggling with social distancing, notice several opportunities throughout each day to practice empathy. We believe these moments provide a unique opportunity for each of us to be sensitive to others and even forgiving view of things.
So how might we show up empathetically?
- Practice active listening
Spend time paying close attention what is actually being said and what unspoken messages may lie beneath the words. When using video technology pay attention to physical cues that might be present and be compassionately curious about them.
- Have regular check-ins
Consider ways you can informally connect with your teammates and peers to see how they are doing, ask what’s on their mind, and discuss how you may support each other.
- Be aware of judgments
Lean into assumptions and biases you might have around working virtually and be mindful of not lumping all your teammates into one category. Be curious and notice judgments you make, and how they shape your choices and actions.
For us, choosing empathy allows us to pivot our approach from perhaps an exclusive focus on productivity to a focus on people and productivity, and by so doing help our clients pivot as well. There is no doubt we are in unprecedented times, yet, regardless of your role - individual contributor or people manager, leading an intact team or an entire organization, what lies ahead from our view is a great opportunity for all of us to choose empathy.
Know that Clearwater is with you and we are only a phone call or email away!