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Are Emotions In the Workplace a Bad Thing?

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Twenty20

I remember the first time I cried someone else’s tears. I was in first grade, and my classmate’s dad had passed away suddenly. My mom came into my brothers’ room where the three of us were giggling and watching TV, and she told me the news. Instantly, I felt sick to my stomach. She was pale as she sat on the bottom bunk bed next to me, looked me in the eye and said, “Be a good friend through this.”

 

Empathy is a strange ability, and it’s one that’s affected me my entire life. I’ve always felt other people’s emotions like a weight in my gut. I thought maybe I was dramatic. Maybe I cared too much. Maybe I craved attention. I wasn’t supposed to feel this way.

 

Right?

 

In business, emotions can cause complications. They can blur your judgment and lead to rash decisions or overstepped boundaries. But they can also be a breath of fresh air—a comforting sense of genuineness.

 

Every businessperson has their own sets of strengths and weaknesses. Many believe that empathy is the latter—a flaw, a quality that hinders development. However, when fully embraced, it’s quite the opposite.

 

Being a good leader doesn’t mean being like everyone else; it means being who you are and honing your own strengths. If you’re an empath, you might be more sensitive and emotional than others, and that’s OK. In fact, it can even help you thrive in business. Here’s how.

You’ll Foster Deeper Connections

Empaths pick up on people’s emotions instinctively, feeling them as their own. Because of this, they tend to be more eager to help others—and by the right people, this doesn’t go unnoticed. In a dog-eat-dog business world, it’s refreshing to meet people who aren’t just looking out for themselves.

 

Rather than building forced surface-level relationships with many people across the board, empaths dedicate their energy to forming deep, authentic connections. Often, it’s these types of relationships that present the most unique opportunities in business.

You’ll Understand Others’ Needs

You don’t have to understand exactly what someone else is experiencing to help them, but it definitely puts you a few steps ahead. Even if you haven’t walked in the other person’s shoes, if you’re an empath, you can still feel their pain and know what might ease it.

 

This is especially important in business. For instance, if a worker is stressed over his workload but afraid to voice it, an empathetic leader might feel this disconnect as their own and approach him with care to find a solution together. When you treat your business contacts with respect and empathy, you’ll likely earn it right back from them. Trust that what you give, you will eventually get.

You’ll Be More Passionate

Empaths live for their “why.” Why they get out of bed each morning. Why they started their own business. Why they pursued a specific interest. And usually, in some way, their mission involves helping others.

 

Because empaths feel a lot, they tend to go all in on their projects. Whether it’s a creative side hustle or a startup business, their excitement and desire to succeed will drive hard work and dedication. If an empath has a dream, nothing will stop them from achieving it.

You’ll Handle Conflict with Heart

Conflict is bound to arise in business. However, the cause is only half of it; what truly matters is how you approach the situation.

 

Empaths are known for their ability to understand various perspectives, meaning they can often view every angle of a problem and empathize with each person involved. Sure, emotions are what create tension in the first place; but a true empath will approach each situation with only the best intentions, assuring everyone is content.

You’ll Practice Self-Awareness

Empaths are often critically self-aware. They constantly assess their thoughts and actions, ensuring they are being honest, fair and kind. If they make a mistake, they’ll likely be the first to admit it, and they’ll do whatever it takes to mend the damage.


Self-awareness is crucial in business. If you aren’t willing to acknowledge both your triumphs and shortcomings, and how they affect others (like your employees and customers), you will never improve or progress.

Bottom Line

Most people experience empathy, and you don’t have to be an empath to master any of these five areas of expertise. However, to empaths, these come more naturally.

 

Being an empath is a unique gift, one that many aspire to in their lives. So why stifle it in shame or embarrassment? No matter who you are, empath or not, you have special qualities that make you you. It’s time to embrace them.

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