This week I found good in a supermarket!
It was a mid-week evening, I was tired and a little distracted, it’s fair to say that I didn’t want to be there and was simply going through the motions to get some fresh produce for dinner.
The teenage girl serving me picked up on my energy and lack of engagement immediately.
Teenage employee: “You just want to get home don’t you!”
Me: “Is it that obvious?”
Teenage employee: “I can just tell, at least its quiet tonight and not too busy, I’ll go as fast as I can to get you out of here”
RESPECT! She didn’t do the standard; “How’s your day been?”
Alternatively, the teenage girl read my facial expressions, body language and could tell from my silence that I was not up for any small talk. She used her judgement and related to me on a personal level, showing me that she understands what I’m feeling and that she is matching her service speed appropriately to suit my needs. She used some common sense and acted upon it, treating me like a complexed human being and not a number.
I felt seen, heard and understood.
Empathy is when we turn our attention to the person in front of us, understand their feelings in that moment and show that you care.
Check in with yourself this week. If you lead teams or serve people each day, are you leading with empathy or do you have some empathy blind spots?
Empathy blind spots are often a consequence of getting caught up in the chaos of emails, phone calls and any other distraction that comes your way. When we are so focused on results and getting stuff done, we are closed to common sense in service.
Don’t leave your empathy at the front door when you go to work this week. Bring some common sense to your working days and remember that it’s all about relationships.
Imagine if you did nothing on your to-do list today and replaced your doing with talking to colleagues, customers and suppliers. What would you learn? How would those relationships benefit?
What would be the worst that would happen if you just simply spent a day looking to understand people?
Jaquie Scammell
‘Be in Service’