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Step 8 To PLAY NICE Is E – Empathize

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, but it’s difficult to empathize with someone you don’t really know.

The Final Step…#8 in the Road Map Through Workplace Conflict to Collaboration is to Empathize and have compassion for each other. 

Humans are human.  We have ups and downs, good points and not-so-good points.  Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, but it’s difficult to empathize with the large part of someone that you don’t even know or see.  Someone in your workplace is like seeing the tip of an iceberg.  You see what they want you to see above the surface, but underneath there is probably a huge part of them that you don’t know.  Everyone is fighting a tough battle, beyond what you may see or know because intimacy (seeing that deep into someone) isn’t necessarily a part of workplace relations. 

For the need to be perfect in the eyes of other people, we often put on a façade or build walls to protect ourselves.  When we erect walls, people can’t get in, and we can’t get out.  Vulnerability is very attractive.  For an example of people connecting with vulnerability, Reality TV is the rage right now because people want to see into the lives of humans…because…that’s where they connect. 

Learn more about how to Empathize in this short video:


If you want to see more of others, don’t be afraid to be vulnerable yourself.  I’ve witnessed hundreds of workplace conflict resolutions unfolding because people just got real honest with each other, and shared their imperfect selves.   

One of the biggest obstacles to connection in workplaces today is technology, especially during and in a post-pandemic period.  The more connected we are with keyboards and screens, the more disconnected we’re becoming as a human race.  When the subject matter is fragile, when there is even a whiff of conflict in the air or the conversation, that’s a big clue that you need to get face-to-face or on the phone at a minimum and let the magic of human connection do its work. 

There you have it.  A roadmap through conflict toward improved cooperation and collaboration at work.  Want to know a secret?  It even works at home!  

I’m going to guess that you’re not an expert in conflict resolution, and, well, most people aren’t even taught how to disagree, let alone embrace and resolve conflict. While every conflict is unique, the key is to use these 8 steps to keep talking about it. 

Communication is an art, not a science so don’t expect perfection, just keep trying with more face-to-face interactions, (or phone calls if you’re physically distanced), based in good posture, rooted in your WHY power! 

Remember that most of conflict resolution is an inside job and that PLAYING NICE doesn’t always mean BEING NICE, but it does mean having the courage to work on relationships that really matter to you, and those that are important for the benefit of your team as a whole. 

Download the complete roadmap and get all of the 8 tips, and think about bringing the Sandbox Training Program to your entire organization. Schedule your Discovery Call with Penny today.

If you can’t find your way, call Penny Tremblay, because the high cost of conflict is avoidable, and profits are much needed right now for better things.