We have all experienced working for a boss that doesn’t give a damn. Someone for whom the outcome is everything and too much is never enough. However, all is not lost and despite their lack of empathy and caring, there are small but very practical things you can do every day to help build a supportive and positive culture in your workplace.
Here are four things you can try:
1. Become more engaged and interested
You can boost warmth, connectivity and engagement among your coworkers, even if management doesn’t seem interested in doing that. Keeping morale up can be done by everyone taking responsibility for being more engaged, energised and interested in those people around them. What is required is a little more focus on the person and how they feel and less on the outcomes.
2. Listen more actively
Building a more empathetic and caring culture is about creating an environment where people can be seen, appreciated, and valued for who they really are. Anyone can do this through active listening, which is a crucial life skill as it builds rapport and provides more and better information with which to make decisions. The essence is, that during conversations with colleagues, you should pay close attention to what’s being said to you, stop mentally planning your response, and keep your eyes on the speaker and their non-verbal cues. Whilst it takes some practice you can quickly become an effective unconscious active listener and this will help to build a kinder and more supportive workplace.
3. Manage your reactions
The vast majority of situations and events, good and bad, that happen to you each day, you can’t control. However you can absolutely manage how you respond to them and obviously your different responses will create a different impact on those people around you. Being calm, circumspect and good-natured will for the most part help create a healthy consistent and positive culture. In contrast if you react on impulse and are rude, short tempered and negative you will create tension and unpleasantness around you. It seems obvious but many people, including perhaps your Boss, lack self-awareness on the impact they have on the people around them.
4. Add a daily act of kindness
Adding a small daily act of kindness which can be anything from an encouraging post it note, bringing back a coffee for a colleague or a positive observation and affirmation on something that has gone well, will work wonders for the culture. In an environment where people don’t receive and so don’t expect praise, generosity or kindness your daily act is like a beacon in the darkness. Over time this becomes unconsciously reciprocated and replicated which creates a greater sense of harmony.
For more on building an empathetic culture contact us.