I’m part of a Coronavirus & Learning Project hosted by the wonderful team at The Masie Centre. Founder, Elliott Masie is one of the online learning industry’s most influential voices. Project members meet each week to discuss the changing learning landscape and marketplace.
One of the things that underlies everything Maisie stands for is empathy. He’s even hosting Empathy Concerts with Broadway musical guests. Empathy means walking in the other person’s shoes. Rather than saying, “I’m sorry you have so many interruptions during your work day,” empathy says, “I know what you’re going through because it’s happening to me as well.”
Think of the unprecedented changes we’re experiencing—and with change comes stress, anxiety, and uncertainty. Here’s why empathy is so important.
Leaders who lead with empathy make better leaders. During times of change, people look to their leaders for direction. People can tell when a leader cares and is authentic. Imagine how you would feel if your child interrupts your virtual meeting only to have your manager tell you that they want you to be more professional—in this pandemic no less. Yikes!
Empathy leads to more resilient employees. Resilience is the key to navigating and thriving through change. Resiliency is “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.” You need your employees with you as you focus on revolve (what companies need to do right now to make it to the future) and recovery (what companies will need to do to secure their futures).
Empathy helps build a culture of resiliency. You’re going to need it. Futurists Heidi and Alvin Toffler always talked about acceleration and how significant changes happen in waves. COVID-19 is a tsunami. The new normal might even become the newer new normal. The more your business is prepared for change, the more capacity you have to focus on recovery.
Next time, I’ll share two things that excite me the most about learning in the new normal. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.