What Are Empathy Maps And Why You Should Care

Come to think of it, management of people almost entirely depends on communication. Leaders, managers, and the employees of a company are constantly involved in various webs of conversation that dictate the flow of work, the quality of relationships and the overall success of the enterprise.

However, what we speak to each other is not as important as how we speak. Using language to communicate is a fairly recent development in the backdrop of our evolution. It comes atop layers of ancient signals that convey feelings, power, and engagement among other things.

Empathy Holds The Key
In other words, a lot more meaning is brought to our interactions through our body language, the tone of our voice, the inflections with which we speak and the gestures we make. The words we utter are like toppings on a pizza - everyone chooses different ones and their absence doesn’t mean there isn’t any communication happening. 

Since communication is a complex cocktail of all that’s said and unsaid, it’s not enough if we base our actions and reactions upon just what someone says. We need to be empathetic enough to understand the deeper and older patterns of communication that they use, in order to derive the real meaning behind their words. 

No wonder, empathy has become one of the most important management skills today. It helps leaders decode people’s emotions; understand their thoughts and recognize their needs. For, only then can they hope to connect with their employees in real and meaningful ways; inspire and influence them to achieve goals; and, in the long run, build a happier and productive workplace.

Map Your Way To A Happier Workplace
Empathy maps are a popular and highly effective tool because they help us imagine ourselves in the shoes of another and feel what they’re feeling. They are best applied in the context of design thinking and have multiple areas of application, such as product development, creative problem-solving and management.

When a manager develops their cognitive empathy, it makes employees believe that they really see them; understand and acknowledge their needs; and, value relationships more than results. And, this, in turn, builds a happier workplace where employees feel valued and driven to be their best

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