This activity is adapted from the book “Empathy – Why It Matters, and How to Get It” by Roman Krznaric, and uses many of the empathy statements from our article 30 Empathy Statements and Phrases That Show Customers You Care.
At the start of the day, gather your team.
Explain to the team that in order to be more empathetic, one of the first steps is noticing in what contexts empathy is used and tune our ‘empathy radar’ to understand when it happens best. This allows us to identify the situations it can be used in more effectively.
Ask the team to shout out some of the things we say when we are demonstrating empathy, and note them down on a whiteboard or flipchart.
Give the team the bingo card and point out that it contains a number of different statements you can use to show empathy. Their task for the day is to play bingo with the statements there.
Team members can either listen out for phrases said by others, or mark down things they themselves said, to colleagues or to customers – as long as they were said authentically!
By the end of the day, you should have a winner – give them a small prize if you wish.
Gather your team and ask them to think about the following things:
- When empathetic things were said by yourself or by others, were the speakers relaxed or stressed?
- What kind of mood were they in?
- Were they empathizing with people they knew, or people they didn’t know?
It’s likely that the team noticed empathy being shown most from people who were relaxed, in a good mood, and who knew each other well. Position to them that the situations it can be most challenging to show empathy in, are situations when we’re not feeling very relaxed, or when we’re trying to relate to strangers.
Encourage them to talk
Make them feel valued
Put yourself in their shoes
Ask more questions
Think and suggest relevant options
Happy to help
You can brighten their day!