In this week’s excerpt from the 90-Day Guide for Success (which is a guide for onboarding or reboarding in today’s evolving workspace) I wanted to dig into the skill of empathy which is a critical skill or all team members. Empathy helps us feel connected and valued. So how do we demonstrate it?
Here’s what I share in Day of the 90-Day Guide for Success:
Here are five ways we as virtual teams can build our skills in empathy while building connection:
1. Provide opportunities for team members to get to know each other—online and offline. While some virtual teams will never meet, building in time for “getting to know” each other is critical. This could entail dedicating some time to sharing two of my favorite warmups:
“What’s outside your window?” or “What’s on your desk?”
2. Create formal learning partnerships with others on the team. Many virtual teams benefit from having peer partners to meet with on a regular basis. This helps us to learn more about each other and what projects we are working on. As we listen and learn, more trust, connection, and understanding are created.
3. Be present and listen. We continue to see how important the ability to focus on virtual conversations is. Nothing will destroy trust and connection faster than hearing other person on the end of the phone or streaming typing away doing an email while you are speaking together. What will it take to be present, focus, and deeply listen in your virtual conversations?
4. Listen for the deeper layers. Typically, in listening, we may be staying at the surface, hearing with one ear and thinking about what we are going to say back to the other person. In the deeper listening needed by virtual teams today, listen to what the person is saying. Notice the pace, pitch of the conversation. Notice the emotion behind the words. What is being said?
5. Take time to share more about your world, your work, your priorities. An important part of empathy is understanding. It’s a two-way street—being open to share and being receptive to listening. How much are you sharing about your world, your work, and your priorities?
There are multiple ways we can be focusing on the skills of empathy as we build connection on teams.
What are some approaches you as a team want to focus on?
(Excerpt: 90-Day Guide for Success: Day 47, page 285, © Jennifer Britton, 2021)
Enjoy the reflection,
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