Fake Empathy

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Being empathetic is a key to good management. Put yourself in the employee’s shoes. In a recent focus group an employee undergoing major job and organizational changes made a significant statement. The employee said she realizes that her supervisor is human and has to worry about her own situation. It’s normal that she doesn’t always feel for what her staff is going through. The employee said, “Even if my manager isn’t totally sincere, I would prefer a show of empathy.” Attempting to look and act like she cares, even if it wasn’t totally true, would show effort and compassion. The supervisor’s effort would be appreciated.

Managers and supervisors aren’t perfect. But they don’t have to be. We aren’t suggesting you be less than honest with people, but this story points out just how important empathy is in our dealing with the human aspects of change.

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On June 9, 2008
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