by the Cornerstone Agility Team | 2 Minute Read

At Cornerstone Agility, Empathy is one of our core values. To our team, Empathy is a critical component of building strong relationships with people and creating high-performing teams. This is particularly true in the context of organizational transformation and the adoption of Agile methodologies. Unfortunately, many people fail to be empathetic in transformation, which can have serious consequences for the success of the transformation effort. Let's explore why empathy is so important in transformation, and why people often struggle to be empathetic.

Transformation efforts can be disruptive and stressful for people, particularly when they involve changes to established processes, roles, and relationships. To be able to drive change that will truly stick for your organization long term, it is critical that we focus on:

  1. Building Trust: When people feel that their concerns and needs are understood and respected, they are more likely to trust the transformation effort and be open to change.
  2. Promoting Collaboration: When people feel that they are working with, rather than against, the transformation effort, they are more likely to collaborate and contribute to its success.
  3. Fostering Innovation: When people feel that their ideas and perspectives are valued, they are more likely to be innovative and seek out new solutions to problems.
  4. Enhancing Resilience: When people feel that they are part of a supportive and understanding community, they are better equipped to cope with the stress and uncertainty that comes with change.

Despite the importance of empathy in transformation, many leaders struggle to be empathetic. That's because it is not easy! Often, we see people struggle due to:

  1. Fear of Change: People who are resistant to change may struggle to empathize with others who are more open to it.
  2. Lack of Awareness: People who are not aware of their own biases and assumptions may struggle to understand the perspectives of others.
  3. Lack of Training: People who have not been trained in empathy skills may struggle to apply them in practice.
  4. Time Pressure: People who are under pressure to meet deadlines and achieve results may prioritize efficiency over empathy.

So, how can we become more empathetic as change agents?

  1. Listen Actively: Practice active listening to truly understand the perspectives and needs of others.
  2. Check Your Biases: Be aware of your own biases and assumptions and challenge them when they are not helpful.
  3. Seek Out Training: Take courses or workshops that focus on empathy and communication skills.
  4. Prioritize Relationships: Make time to build relationships with the people involved in the transformation effort.

By being more empathetic in transformation, you can build stronger relationships with people, promote collaboration and innovation, and enhance the resilience of your team. So, listen actively, check your biases, seek out training, and prioritize relationships – and watch your transformation effort thrive!

If you are looking for Transformation and Change leaders that can help you accelerate your Transformation goals while taking a people-first and empathetic approach to Agility, please reach out and let us know how we can help you on your journey!

Cornerstone Agility Inc. provides value based, principles-driven Transformation, Coaching, and Training Services built on the Cornerstone of Excellence! Together, we take your practice beyond theory to design your blueprint for success. Our promise to you is to maintain integrity through accuracy, honesty, and trustworthiness. Follow us on LinkedIn to see what our team is talking about today!