Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings that others are feeling. Many regard empathy as merely a soft emotion of feeling sorry for others BUT empathy can be a powerful tool in times of crisis.
Here are 4 ways empathy can drive better outcomes in times of crisis:
1. Empathy makes for flexible outcomes: With empathy and understanding, we can begin to know and understand what people need to find a resolution. We can also begin to devise solutions that can be adapted to meet individual needs. That way everyone is a winner….
2. Empathy drives innovation: Empathy fosters psychological safety and that, in turn, leads to greater communication with stakeholders; problem-solving and innovation, because people feel comfortable about taking risks and trying new things without fear; taking risks, leads to innovative solutions.
3. Keep Calm and Carry on: An empathetic approach helps keep distressed situations calmer. Understanding each other’s feelings and perspectives help take out some the stress and emotion. Eliminating some of the unhelpful emotions helps to cut to the real issues more efficiently.
4. You trust me, and I’ll trust you: Showing empathy builds trust and co-operation with stakeholders. Trust is often an undervalued ingredient in business dealings and it is even more critical in a time of crisis when emotions are running hot on all sides of the fence.