Hiring for Empathy

There’s a lot to be said for the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Whether you are selling to customers, managing employees, or simply dealing with colleagues, there is much to be gained by being able to imagine how someone else feels – and to express empathy with their situation.

The days of the cold-hearted businessman are long gone. The influx of Generation X – and more recently, Generation Y – has heralded a new era in business, one in which people feel joy, sorrow, or pride in one another. These days, empathy is a highly desirable trait in a new employee, as the ability to sympathize with one’s colleagues makes for a more effective team member. And in today’s increasingly high-stress workplace, being able to recognize when a co-worker has reached the boiling point can be most helpful.

Supervisors, in particular, must possess the ability to empathize, as it allows them to better manage workers. They can more readily understand why a task causes an employee so much difficulty and will be quicker to help and slower to criticize. After all, criticizing an employee will get you nowhere. Showing them how to do the job is the ticket to success, both for them personally and for the organization as a whole.

Likewise, it’s the ability to recognize a customer’s pain points and demonstrate how your company’s products or services will make that pain go away that wins over new customers or keeps current ones. Sometimes, customers aren’t able to adequately verbalize exactly what they need or what problems they are experiencing. The ability to read their verbal and non-verbal cues, ask the right questions, and observe what’s really going on below the surface can help to identify opportunities that may otherwise go unrecognized – and pave the way for greater sales and profits, not to mention an incredibly grateful and loyal customer.

Empathy is directly correlated to maturity. Think about it. Snickering over another person’s failings is quite childish, while recognizing when someone is struggling – and figuring out a way to come to their aid – is quite mature. Which would you rather have in your workforce: employees who feel pleasure when their co-workers are struggling or employees who look for ways to help each other for the greater good of the organization?

Need help recruiting the right kinds of workers? Contact High Profile Staffing today.

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