GTA5

Look through the specks of empathy

This happened last Sunday.

The water pump installed in the underground water tank at my home stopped working. I called the dealer, the one who had supplied the pump. Well, he was not responding to my calls. I made few attempts to reach him all through the day, but the phone never got picked. Neither did he call back. 

Water is an indispensable necessity. I had to get the pump repaired through alternate sources. 

I had bought this pump from that gentleman because he had been recommended as a responsible and authentic businessman. On top of it, I had a good reference about him from a close friend. Surprisingly, the irresponsible behavior of this man was unexpected and was much frustrating. 

“I must give my piece of mind whenever I get to speak with him the next,” I said to myself.

After two days, when I was in the midst of an official meeting, I got a call from the pump dealer. As soon as I saw his name on my mobile screen, all my unhappy memories about the recent poor experience resurfaced. With the intent to give him some ‘strong feedback,’ I picked up the phone. 

It was a female voice from the other end. I re-checked the name and number on my phone screen to confirm if it was the same person. It was indeed the dealer’s cell number. 

The voice on the other side said, “I received calls from this number a few days back. May I know who this is?” 

I inquired, “Isn’t this the phone number of Mr. XYZ?”

The reply, “Yes sir, you have dialed the right number. Unfortunately, I lost my father to COVID last month, and now I am carrying this number. I am his daughter and making efforts to manage his business.” 

How may I help you, sir?

It was a paradigm shift. 

At that moment, I lost all my harsh feelings. The waves of Empathy soared high inside. All my complaints had evaporated. On the contrary, I started appreciating the girl. I expressed condolence and grief and encouraged her to be confident. I offered her all the support I could. I closed the call by showering blessings to the little businessperson!

Friends, post ‘second wave’ of this severe pandemic, life is no more the same for many people. I promised myself to be extra sensitive while forming opinions about any person in the future. 

The other day, “a class 12th student wanted some career guidance, and she booked an appointment.” The girl had lost her father due to covid. The organization he used to work for had offered a compensatory job to the little girl. How severely testing are the times for some of us?

Whomsoever we meet, we never know the story that person might have gone through. When I interacted with a few teachers during an online conference, I got to feel their woes and disturbances.  Usually, people prefer not to share their miseries with others. The fact is that almost every individual in our society has got some other disturbing impact from this virus. 

The most successful managers and/or administrators of tomorrow would be the ones who can put themselves into the other person’s shoes! Even when I address parents while conducting counseling or a training session, I suggest they refrain from complaining about their kids. As a parent, we hardly know what the little one may have had to go through during the previous few months. 

They talk of the “new normal” I say it’s all about compassion, care, and understanding. Going forward, in every human interaction, we must consider giving “empathy” the front seat.

Tomorrow, please be empathetic if you come across a team member (an employee) who may not have been performing well at work. In place of shouting and/or firing, go for counseling. In place of explaining your need, make efforts to understand their circumstances.

The message for every employer, parent, teacher or manager is: be generous with people and their feelings, especially during this phase of Covid.



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Disclaimer

Views expressed above are the author’s own.



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