4 Ways to Practice Empathy at Work to Build Partnership

Daffodils My Yard

I love spring! The days are getting a little longer, adding a few more minutes of radiating sunshine each day. Daffodils and crocuses spring up from the thawing ground, almost out of nowhere. These bulbs have endured harsh winter conditions. Yet with the help of the sun, nutrients and rain, they bloom again, showcasing the power of resilience to thrive in adversity. Their vibrant colors and delicate beauty serve as a reminder that even in the face of challenges, there is beauty and strength in resilience.

How can you channel the flower’s beauty of change and resiliency into your daily intentions and actions?

Let’s explore why partnership is essential to resilience and the advantages it brings. Achieving resilience is not a solitary journey—it requires cooperation, collaboration, and empathy.

Leading with Partnership

Partnership epitomizes the connection forged among individuals sharing a common experience and striving toward a shared objective. It’s more than just a slogan; it’s a lifeline. The words “we’re all in this together” may sound cliché, but in times of vulnerability, they ring true.

When you’re in an impossible situation, can you get through it with a partnership? Absolutely! These three steps will help you build and strengthen partnership: 1) Practice empathy, 2) Build diverse, equitable, and inclusive partnerships, and 3) SCALE your influence.

In this article, we’ll reveal the actions for Step 1) Practice empathy.

Advantages of a Strong Partnership

True partnership is giving up titles and ego, and jumping in to see where you can help, to do what needs to be done. #ResilienceReady

Organizations with leaders committed to fostering partnerships emerge stronger through disruption. A culture of partnership fosters genuine care, connection to purpose, and collaboration, laying the foundation for resilience.

Organizations whose leaders are intentional about building partnerships emerge stronger through a challenge.  They experience:

  • Increased buy-in from employees and customers.
  • Partnership is genuinely demonstrated, not just discussed.
  • A greater sense of belonging strengthens engagement and commitment.
  • Customers are more committed and loyal.
  • Organizations partner in helping employees develop and grow.

Consider This: What benefits have you realized when a strong partnership exists within your team?

4 Ways to Build Empathetic Partnerships

Create an environment where people care about each other’s well-being. #ResilienceReady

Empathy serves as the foundation of effective partnership.  Empathy cultivates understanding, fosters trust, and strengthens bonds, essential elements for resilient partnerships. Here are four practical ways to practice empathy.

  1. Listen and Acknowledge – Employers are crucial in creating a supportive environment where employees feel heard, valued, and cared for. Practicing empathy involves active listening, acknowledging concerns without judgment, and offering support without trying to fix everything.
  2. Proactively Check-In
    Proactive measures such as regular check-ins build relationships.  Check-ins should include life outside of work and not just during the challenges.  Check-in on the good days, too. Be present and listen. 
  3. Focus on What’s important
    Remember, your team lives outside of your office walls. Team members may be worried about things that are invisible to you, such as family, health, or even children- all while managing their job. Focus on outcomes and results. Your employees will go above and beyond when it’s needed if you do the same when they really need you.  
  4. Make Space for Processing and Sharing
    Make space for employees to talk with each other to process and realize others share similar concerns. By empathizing with others’ experiences and emotions, we establish authentic connections and create a safe space for expression. Employees are more likely to support each other and work together to solve the challenges.

People shy away from sharing their emotions or concerns at work. The expectation is to always ‘have it together’. Create an environment where people really care about each other’s well-being, and can speak up without fear of ridicule or retribution. Showing empathy doesn’t mean you’re soft or that you can’t hold people accountable. The opposite is true. Empathy sets the stage for an honest and constructive working relationship.

Partnership lies at the heart of resilience in the workplace. Organizations can navigate challenges with agility and fortitude by fostering genuine connections. Together, you can overcome adversity, emerge stronger, and thrive in the face of uncertainty.

How Can I Help?

I’ve been working with clients on building a culture of resilient partnerships for years. Does your organization need support creating a happy and healthy workplace? Are you unsure how to build better relationships and, ultimately, a better workplace? Let’s have a conversation. My specialty is results-based solutions in solving pressing burnout, turnover, and workplace culture challenges. I’m here to help.

Calendly link: https://calendly.com/vivian-blade/15-minute-consult


She’s a woman on a mission, prepped and ready to help you create resilient leaders and a workplace that is poised to succeed. Having weathered her fair share of corporate and career crises of all sizes, Vivian Blade MBA, MBB, PMP, is a global leadership expert and thought leader who equips leaders with the resilience that inspires teams to recover quickly in the face of ongoing disruption and thrive in spite of insurmountable odds.

Vivian empowers leaders and organizations as a frequent keynote speaker for association conferences and in delivering transformative leadership development programs, executive coaching and consulting for corporations.

Copyright 2023 Vivian Blade