Returning with Empathy

Every time we navigate change, we are in a place of vulnerability. Every time we embark on something new, we are in a place of vulnerability.

The pandemic has been a constant state of change and of new. We have been in an ongoing state of vulnerability. This fall with the return to classrooms, to in-person meetings, to in-office work, and to opportunities to socialize and travel, we will continue to navigate this place of vulnerability.

In so many of our client meetings, people are so afraid to say the wrong thing. We offer them the grace and the empathy of a safe place, where they may not say or do things in the perfect way, but their courage in raising the topic is rewarded with our support, our empathy, and our dialogue about what they could say or do next time. This is vulnerability. We want to meet it with empathy. We want to meet it with compassion. We want to meet it with grace.

We want to open the door. We want to explore what next time looks like. We want to understand what “doing better” means. We want to learn what inclusion could be for them, or their organization. We want to appreciate what a culture of belonging could mean for people to show up in.

Empathy is a tool and an opportunity to embrace and support vulnerability. This fall we need to start with empathy. To continue with empathy. To appreciate how people are showing up, and what they might need that we have not considered, and what we have not learned or known yet. We need to embrace each other – and all of our imperfections – and be patient, and kind, and empathetic. We need to begin, once again, to be together and to be connected – this time in person – and to use this as an opportunity to learn what we don’t know about each other.

What will empathy look like for yourself? How will you be empathetic to those around you?

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