In my last instalment in our video tip series on what it takes to be more resilient at work, I talked about the importance of cultivating empathy in the workplace, and I gave you four specific ways to do so. The fourth way – Show that you care – resulted in a whole slew of questions. Many of you asked: How? How do you show that you care? So today’s tip expands on that fourth point.
Show that you care
When I say “Show that you care”, I mean that you need to show that you are genuinely interested in your team members as individuals, and how they are feeling and succeeding. It isn’t enough to just be a good listener. For your people to be more resilient, they also have to know that you understand their feelings, their perspective, their point of view.
Don’t say …
So often, in response to a difficult situation, and to demonstrate that we are listening, we say well-meaning things like:
“Everything happens for a reason.”
“This too shall pass.”
“Just look on the bright side…”
“I know how you feel.”
“This could be a blessing in disguise.”
But the problem is that inadvertently, we end up minimizing what the other person is telling us and we certainly don’t demonstrate that we understand their perspective.
To show that you care, do say …
Far better to acknowledge how they’re feeling.
“That must be hard.”
“That sounds really challenging.”
“I can see how that would be difficult.”
Or even “Wow, that really sucks.”
Or you could tell them how you feel.
“I can’t imagine what you must be going through.”
“I don’t know what to say.”
“I’m glad you told me.”
And don’t forget to show interest and support.
“How are you feeling about everything?”
“What has this been like for you?”
“I want to make sure I understand…”
“You are talented.”
“I’m here for you.”
“How can I help you?”
“What do you need right now?”
“I’m happy to listen any time.”
“I would like to do _____ for you.”
I hope this tip has given you additional clarity on what I mean when I say “Show them you care.” It goes beyond just listening, it demonstrates that you understand. When your staff know that you care, it gives them the secret password to be more resilient. When they know that you care, they are able to bounce back from difficult situations and deal more effectively with adversity. So think about what you say, so that it truly shows that you care.
Do you have examples to share from your workplace? Either things you’ve said, or things you’ve seen? I’d love to hear more, please comment below.