The pandemic changed the way we lead teams and design events. (Illustrations by Eiko Ojala)
Empathy is having a moment. Maybe it’s because we recognize how empathy is needed to keep peace in an increasingly divisive society or that having experienced the shared trauma of living through a pandemic has — or should have — made us more empathetic.
Just Google “leading with empathy” and the resulting mountain of recent articles on that topic could lead you to think we’ve just discovered we have this human trait. But our capacity for empathy is as old as time, part of our evolutionary history, according to Greater Good Magazine, published by the University of Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. Contemporary researchers, Greater Good tells us, distinguish between several types of empathy — “cognitive empathy,” sometimes called “perspective taking,” refers to our ability to identify and understand other people’s emotions.
Putting ourselves in others’ shoes is critical when leading a hybrid workforce and designing events today because in both cases, you’re taking into consideration how people have been fundamentally changed by the pandemic. We’ve long been conditioned not to bring emotions to work with us, so this may seem an alien approach to many. We hope to convince you that it’s time for a mindshift.
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