Björn Franke / Mind Hygiene

Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale

Empathy in the workplace has many faces and employees encounter emotional circumstances every day while on the job. In some cases the idea of emotion in the workplace seems strictly forbidden and at the same time fully performing employees are most likely using an appropriate balance of head and heart to be successful. When it comes to workplace empathy where is the balance?

It is often argued that workplace decisions should be absent of empathy. Negotiations for goods, services, and even wages and benefits may be skewed when empathy enters the process. Savvy workplace professionals seek the right balance of empathy in all decision making processes which should include decisions made at all levels.

If we are too close to a situation or empathize too much with someone’s need we may go beyond the boundaries of the norm to help them. In these situations we may even violate our own personal boundaries and strain our position or career. The other side of the coin of course is being so focused on not empathizing with others needs that we make ruthless choices which breakdown employee trust and tarnish motivation and commitment from workplace teams.

Finding the correct balance of empathy is not always easy. Employees who get this right are most likely the star performers. Proper workplace relationships seem to come easy to them, they make quality decisions when it comes to utilizing resources and addressing customer needs. Perhaps most importantly they demonstrate a positive attitude and they are of course – balanced.

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