Challenged to develop deeper empathy for some of her more irritating colleagues, Kimberly Wiefling took a walk on the riled side by imagining the letters they might write to her, if they dared. The result is eye-opening (and occasionally side-splitting.) And it got us thinking -- what other secrets are lurking behind the restrained expressions people wear in meetings? If we could read their minds, would we approach them differently? In Kimberly's moving words, "empathy, compassion, and sincere appreciation heal people in ways I'd never imagined early in my career."
Walk a Mile in Another Flawed Human Being's Shoes
by Kimberly Wiefling
At one of my monthly mentoring sessions with Dr. Edgar Schein, world-renowned organizational culture guru, I was ranting about my frustrations with one of my project teams. His response? "You don't have any empathy." That gave me pause.
I began to wonder what would happen if we could read our colleagues' minds. Would we develop more empathy for each other if we experienced the world from their perspective? Or would we have even more reason to want to strangle them in their sleep? I decided to explore this by writing some imaginary letters from people who are currently driving me nuts.
Find out what Kimberly's colleagues are thinking
Empathic Project Management
Making Trust Personal
Empathy, Compassion, and Sincere Appreciation
Emotion-laden words often make us uncomfortable in a business environment, but that doesn't make them less important. If anything, it makes them more important. Developing critical people skills can make the difference between a high-performing team and a nonfunctional one.
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