Essentially we all have a need to belong, support each other, and contribute. This is not bologna and soft headed mush but based on evolutionary science. One of the world’s leading social economists, Jeremy Rifkin, author of the recently published The Empathetic Civilization, has captured powerful precepts on the concept of empathy.
Rifkin states, “Social scientists, are beginning to reexamine human history from an empathic lens. … The growing scientific evidence is that we are a fundamentally empathic species. This has profound and far-reaching consequences for society, and may well determine our fate as a species.” And as a result it has implications for the workplace.
This is a pretty dense book to work through but it is rich in insight. If you want a shortcut, I urge you to watch Rifkin’s RSA 11 minute video. Rifkin refers to scientific data which shows that brain patterns mirror feelings in each other; not only amongst humans but between many of the animal kingdom.
My point in this underscores empathy as a key element within the respect framework of the Character Triangle. As people working together, a commitment to understanding what our team mates are feeling is progress. So at work: seek to understand and work from the belief that almost all of us want to belong and contribute. It’s the civilized way to work together.