Empathy in the Workplace. What makes us skip it?

by Jun 1, 2016

Are we lacking empathy in the workplace?

Empathy in the workplace


In the last 8 months I have had more corporate clients initiate conversation on [Tweet ““how do we create more empathy within the workplace?””] then ever before. I am glad people are realizing
a) that it’s lacking and 
b) it’s a MUST have

Yet frankly, it scares the crap out of me that many people skip it as often as possible.

When I ask my sons to explain what empathy is, their simple reply is ‘to feel what the other person is feeling’.

When was the last time you did this?

Actually better question: how better would your every day be if we practiced this daily?


I have learned so much from the work Brene Brown has done including her work in Empathy. I think I have a girl crush on Brene… This video, less than 4 minutes, is one I use in my sessions to help participants get clear on what the difference is between empathy and sympathy and how to show empathy and be empathic.

Here’s the catch: You can watch the video. You can “get it” yet two days later what will has changed within your empathy level and your consistency in being empathetic with others? This is something to practice. Everyday. Always. Read: 3 Ways to Enhance Leadership Qualities with Empathy

Here’s my take on practicing empathy in the workplace

We show empathy different ways. Think about BEing real versus ‘doing it right’

  1. Breath.
  2. Breathe some more. Yoga & meditation rock for a lot of reasons. Breathe while giving empathy. Such a gift.
  3. Say little, be much. AKA be present, be there for THEM (not you) and feel.
  4. More breathing
  5. Practice & repeat

Why all the breathing? If you haven’t been practicing empathy in the past, it might have to do with your discomfort level with certain feelings. You breathing will help calm you, help center you so you can stay focused on being there for the other person, versus starting to focus on your response to the situation.


  • It’s about them. Not you.
  • Solving, fixing and making things better is not empathy
  • It’s okay to show feelings
  • It’s okay to not know what to say yet it’s not okay to drop the person in front of you because of your lack of comfort.

You have nothing to lose & a whole lot to gain.
Go gain something 

Contact 3Plus for details of Leadership and Relationship Mastery Programs 

Originally Posted on April 20, 2015 by Nancy Milton

Nancy Milton Contributor
Leading through Intentional Communication Nancy Milton works with leaders to be better coaches and employees to be better communicators. Covering 40+ competencies under the leadership skills banner including tough conversations, trust, level two listening, diversity & inclusion, partnerships, performance coaching, change leadership and self awareness + confidence.
follow me

Found that interesting?
Learn more about our services for building inclusive workplaces

Found that interesting?
Learn more about our services for building inclusive workplaces

Individual services

Only 50% of women create a career strategy. Make sure you are on the right side of that equation to reach your potential

Corporate services

“Inclusion is not a matter of political correctness. It is the key to growth.” — Jesse Jackson

Upcoming events


📢New program: How to create inclusive job postings

In today's rapidly evolving world, it's essential for organisations to embrace diversity and inclusion. Organisations unconsciously communicate their company cultures and values in everything they do including their job postings. These can either attract or repel talent from a diverse range of backgrounds.

A crucial step in this process is ensuring that your job postings reflect these values. Our training program will equip you with the knowledge and skills to craft job descriptions that attract candidates from all backgrounds, eliminating bias and fostering an inclusive hiring process.


create inclusive job postings

Full programme details HERE


📢New Programme available with 3Plus International

“If you have a brain you have a bias” and nowhere is this more apparent than in our hiring processes.

The ‘How to Mitigate Bias in the Recruitment Process’ programme is designed to convey the serious nature of bias in the recruitment process with a focus on gender bias and the way it impacts both businesses and organisations, but in a way that is thought-provoking and engaging.



Full programme details HERE

Dates for the Diary


Trauma Informed Coaching Certification course April - May 2024

25th  April: Corporate Training  - Build your Personal Board of Directors

23rd May:  Corporate Training: Making the accepted unacceptable: challenging ordinary sexism in the Workplace

31st May:  Corporate Training  - Build your Personal Board of Directors

11th June: Corporate Training  - Build your Personal Board of Directors

14th June:  Corporate Training How to Handle Everyday Sexism

Download and listen free podcasts

Latest Podcasts

Related articles

The Glass Escalator

The Glass Escalator

Men are berated for lowering themselves to do women’s work  However, the glass escalator works well for men who rise to leadership positions and obtain disproportionately higher pay than women.

read more