In a previous post, I wrote about you being responsible for getting your projects done. It is your responsibility to coordinate all of the pieces so that you can achieve your goal on time. There is one trait that is essential for you to succeed when you realize that you are the centre of the potential success of the project. This quality is empathy.
To be successful in understanding that you are the centre of success, you must be aware of what other people need, are feeling, how they are reacting, the pressure that they are experiencing, and what motivates them. As you are the centre of the universe, you have to know that everyone else is the centre of their universe also.
Let’s expand our diagram from the previous post.
In the previous post, you could see that you were in the centre of the project. You are the person who is going to make it happen. Once you broaden your view and take an empathetic look around you, you see that the people around you also are the centre of their projects. A new worldview means that all of the responsibility and burden that you feel, they are feeling for their work too. With the wide-angle lens view, you can start to think about what the other person needs.
- Is there something that you can do within your project that will work to make them more successful?
- When you are asking them to work with you on your project, can you leverage the work so that it reduces work that they will have to do later?
- Is there something that you can do to make sure that your project work and requests aren’t conflicting with what the other person needs?
- What piece of your project can they reuse without any changes? Can you give this work to that person, eliminating a task or workblock that they have to do?
You Are The Centre, But Not The Only Centre
You are in the centre of your project. You are responsible for being done on time, and finishing well. But you aren’t the only one who is at the centre of a project. Keeping this in perspective will help you remember how to approach people better. You can think about how you would like to be treated and contacted, and then you can connect with people in the same way.
It is a tunnel-vision ambition that is going to help you complete the project you are responsible for. It is a broadview and empathy that is going to help everyone complete the projects that they are working on. And since some of the projects that people are working on are pieces of the project that you are responsible for, everyone wins when you take care of each other.
The Case For Empathy
But the biggest reason to have empathy for other people is not only to get your projects done. The primary driver for pursuing empathy is because it puts others in a place where they are taken care of. Everyone wants to look good and feel good. Looking good might mean that someone’s work shines and others recognize them for the dedication and skill that they bring to the game. Feeling good means that people know that you value them for what they have contributed. Being empathetic will help you make the people around you look good and feel good. And that is an excellent contribution that you can make.