Empathy inspires positivity and productivity in all who embody it.
There are many benefits attached to fostering empathy in the virtual workplace. For one, you will become more aware of how people think, feel, and react to situations. As a leader, you will become more adept at analyzing the performance of your team members, and you will be more mindful of their needs.
Empathy will promote open communication and build stronger bonds of trust within your virtual team. Likewise, empathetic virtual team members will become better at resolving conflict, will deliver more effective feedback, and will make better decisions.
With a little practice your virtual team can master empathy and harness success.
Two strategies to develop empathy
1. Practice reflection: It is important to remember that what irritates you about a colleague is likely to be a characteristic that you possess. Before you react and judge a team member, ask yourself, “Is this something I do?” If the answer is ‘yes,’ then you are better prepared to address your colleague with empathy.
2. Be compassionate: We all have our flaws, and you do not have to agree with someone to empathize with them. Be open to what others have to say and how they work. In the process, chances are, you will discover a great deal about what you bring to your virtual team.
By consciously practicing and developing empathy, your virtual team members will be prepared to bridge the geographic gap between them and work productively to accomplish your business goals.
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