Engaging With Empathy

Anyone else feeling frustrated with isolation? Annoyed at the ever-changing set of rules being imposed, craving a nice meal in the corner of your favourite pub or the familiar smell of the nail salon you used to frequent? How bout a nice massage or sauna after sweating it all out in your favourite step class your fitness posse and fave instructor. I know that I most certainly would love to break up the solitude with some activities outside my home.

Have you taken a moment to think about how others are handling this situation? I have mentioned in previous blogs how I’ve been enjoying reconnecting with my boys and I wanted to explore a situation that arose with one of them.  He is in year 12, he has had a lot of things stop that seem unfair, unreasonable and inconsistent, he is ready to go for his practical driving assessment and has had this cancelled three times to date, he had an interstate trip to support his girlfriend in a Netball State Team cancelled.  Last week he was irritable and angry and decided that berating me and yelling at his brother were the solution. My immediate reaction was to discipline him and tell him his actions were inappropriate, but upon reflection, were they? 

I did a little more reading that evening as I tend to find myself reading more widely these days and came across an article about teens dealing with stress. I caught myself feeling a little ashamed at my earlier actions. Seems he was simply attempting to communicate with me that he too was feeling stressed and frustrated with the situations he has been forced to face. It struck a chord with me that perhaps had I been cognisant enough to be more empathetic the situation may not have escalated as it did.

So, what did I do I hear you ask? I quietly knocked on his bedroom door and asked permission to come in. Once granted, we sat and chatted about how he was feeling (closely monitored by his ever faithful fluffy feline friend) and what we could do to work through this together.  He opened up and we came up with some really interesting ways to combat his feelings and ascend triumphantly to the peak of the wave that is our current isolation situation.  By engaging with empathy I was able to more effectively support his needs.

In the business environment, engaging with empathy is often not a tool we use to develop relationships with our clients. After all this isolation is over, I strongly believe that engaging in this manner will lead to a more personal service and allow stronger bonds to be formed between businesses and their clients. SBM is well placed to assist having access to a variety of business professionals with a vast experience across a range of fields who are able to effectively engage with empathy.

Rose Charlotte
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