Tagempowerment

How bringing empathy to work can be the greatest thing you ever do as a boss

Have you ever felt like some people at work weren’t hugged enough as children?

Like the time I called in sick ahead of a Saturday 6 am shift and a total harpy picked up the phone. I had a fever, I hadn’t slept and I was super nervous about talking on the phone with a stranger.

On the verge of tears and hands shaking, I piped up, “I’m sick and I can’t make it to work today”.

The crone on the other end said: “You don’t sound sick.”

I fought to keep my voice even as my eyes filled with tears and a rage-mixed-panic was rising up in me. I mean, would it really take that much from you to bring a little empathy to work?!

I was the one who was losing pay for the shifts I was going to miss and her implying that I was just skipping work because I partied too hard the night before – if you call reading a book in a blanket cave partying hard – was just downright offensive.

Ever since then, I’ve wondered what would it look like if we were allowed to have our feelings. At work. In the world. In life.

I mean, what if no matter where you went, you felt seen and heard? Felt like your distress was recognised? Felt like what you’ve endured was acknowledged?

It’s that lack of empathy, that “Well, at least you bothered to call in and tell us you’re not coming to work,” way of treating each other that drives disconnection.

We need so much more empathy because that’s our way back to each other, our gateway to healing as a group, a community, a nation and a people.

But in order to wield your empathy wisely, you need to train yourself to better recognise and manage emotions – yours and other people’s.

Only when you add more tools to your emotional toolkit can you guide others and help them see that pain is temporary. That they’re not stuck in that difficult situation forever. That they’re not alone and that they have the power to take action.

After all, how much do a few kind words really cost you?

If I had to do that phone call all over again, I’d dress that bitch down.

But not in a nasty way, just point out that her behaviour isn’t acceptable for a superior at work and that she needs to reconsider her vocabulary.

Even if you’re not a boss, you can still be the hero that brought empathy to work. 💪

Let’s start a kind and compassionate revolution to eradicate all harpies from work. Cuz we all got shit 💩 to deal with and we don’t need to jump through hoops on top of that.

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Do you have what it takes to turn your pain into power?

Never regret a day in your life.

The thing about success is, that we don’t achieve it despite feeling pain. We achieve it because we experience pain.

Now, I know this sounds like the short end of the stick – it kind of is – but if we spend our lives running away from the pain we’re never going to benefit from it.

Life has a funny way of always coming back at us with the lessons that we didn’t learn the first time around. If you turn a blind eye and a deaf ear, life will double up and hammer at that wall you built with two catapults instead of one.

So, success isn’t defined by how well you avoid painful situations and uncomfortable conversations. It’s defined by what you do after you’ve been through the ringer – and how you take that pain and turn it into an invaluable lesson that will propel you forward in life.

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