Last week was rough for so many people. Some of these folks I knew personally and others I did not. I began to reflect on the days I had to manage my private matters while still being a professional. As you may know, this is not always easy.
I can remember a manager asking me how long it would take for my Mother to die so I could return to work. It was a good thing I was on the phone with him, my Dad came out of the elevator, my words would have been very harsh. My manager's words stuck with me!
As a leader, I keep in mind that my employees had their private lives outside the company. Empathy goes a long way when one of your employees faces a crisis. Each person handles things differently. I did not want to add to whatever they were dealing with in their personal life.
I made sure they knew I genuinely cared if they needed anything, I was there to support them.
Some employees would open up and, I provided a safe space. There were times I would share some of my experiences that gave them comfort to know I was not just a figurehead but someone who truly cared.
I walked in their shoes in some situations and, other times, I had no idea how they felt; empathy went a long way.
When I saw this quote posted by Holly Robinson Pete, these words resonated deeply in my heart. We live in times where so much is happening so fast leadership needs to remember empathy in the workplace.