Updated: Sep 9, 2021
Conflicts arise everywhere, every day. Sometimes they are easily resolvable and other times,
not so much. However, at the core of each conflict is a basic misunderstanding. This typically means that an assumption was made when really the other party needed to feel that they were truly heard and understood. When you add empathy to methods of conflict resolution, the results can be in all parties’ favor.
Take for example a conflict at home between two partners. Their disagreement is centered around something trivial like completing chores and whose responsibility it is to do what.. Adding empathy in this scenario helps one another understand that they’re coming from a place of care, concern and acknowledgement. By adding empathy, neither partner will continue to experience their feelings and concerns being dismissed - whether intentional or not. This will also help the couple address the disagreement in a better way that will result in continued success. Why? Mainly because each party now feels that they are being heard. Their concerns are noted and their feelings are now acknowledged.
In this particular scenario, one partner may feel as if their requests to their spouse to throw out the trash are hit or miss. The spouse could react to this rather than respond. Instead, one can begin from a place of empathy and understand why the task is so important to their family. Once both parties are able to lay out the fundamental issues, discuss what’s working and what isn’t, they’ll be in a better place to adjust the way in which the task gets addressed. The couple can leave the conversation comfortably knowing that they were both heard, acknowledged and valued for what they do to contribute.. Rather than the task being treated as a chore, it is now something they can be more effective in addressing because they better understand the whole picture.
When it comes to business, it’s not all that different. It’s natural for people to disagree on matters. Business partners may disagree on the direction of a project for a multitude of
reasons. Sometimes, the person with the deeper pockets may win, but ultimately, the conflict will remain. Repeated conflicts have great impacts on business partnerships. Other parties like key stakeholders and directors who are involved may disagree and also be feeling unheard. Luckily, since the partners applied empathy in action beforehand, they will be prepared to bring them up to speed and ensure that they truly acknowledge the stakeholders and directors’ concerns. That said, in business, it is very important to understand one another; to really listen to each other and absorb the other person’s position and interest in the opportunity project. This is where adding empathy to the initial and ongoing discussions and milestones can ensure all parties involved remain on the same page and help to progress the project with success. Adding empathy to your process allows each partner to be heard, understood and ultimately valued for exactly what they are contributing to the project or opportunity.
Our approach to business with empathy in mind helps our clients to see the value each member brings from the start. It takes the guesswork out of who is responsible for what and why. Empathy helps to highlight the strengths of each person involved while still maintaining the social and professional boundaries set from the beginning. Learn more here!