Digital Boom

I'm a writer, researcher, and devotee of all things digital. Master of content, wrangler of UX and slayer of projects. Find me at @paula_last and my portfolio at paulalast.com.

Digital Boom

Curious, Creative, Candid. | Paula Last

What does empathy at work look like?

Recently I posted an animated video of a Brene Brown passage on empathy. 

The key takeaway for me what this quote: “empathy drives connection,  sympathy drives disconnection.” 

(Aside: If you haven’t watched the video or seen the TedX talk that made Brown famous, I highly recommend you get on that). 

The animation is two friends talking. One is going through something. We’ve all been there. So you already know that when you’re going through something, a good friend gets down in the muck with you until you’re unstuck. An annoying friend is someone who will poke their head in from higher ground and sympathize, but not really connect.  

We all need that friend who gets it and isn’t afraid to climb down into that hole with you, because they know they’ve been there too. Love it.

But how does this play out at a place like work, where showing vulnerability is a much trickier business?

One of the benefits having a varied career is that I’ve worked in a slew of different places and seen a lot of things go down. Some of the places I’ve worked had empathy nailed. You could have a bad day or make a mistake, and someone would be right there saying “I’ve so been there and made that mistake. Here’s what to do about it.” When it came to teamwork, they totally got it.

Other workplaces just didn’t get it, and didn’t even seem to want to. Any mistake or flaw would be magnified, written on the wall and replayed for all eternity. People formed cliques so they could rule the roost. These are toxic workplaces. And once you’ve worked at a toxic workplace, you know that it’s something to be avoided at all costs.

Now that classes are nearly finished, it’s time to think about the kind of workplace I’m hoping to find in digital-media-land. I want to use this blog to explore how empathy is playing out where people work. 

So stay tuned:  there will be insights from thought leaders like Brene Brown and interviews with people working in the digital media biz. There will be people who work in IT, management, design, communications, and boomers, GenXers, millenials and maybe even a post-millenial who wants to send a message to his or her future employers.

Even if you don’t work in digital media, I want to hear about how empathy plays out where you work.

Do you feel like you’re a part of your team? Do you feel excluded? Does your management foster a feeling of value and belonging? How are connections made — by shaming and blaming a common enemy or by listening, understanding and getting to know your co-workers? What’s your definition of being vulnerable at work? Do you have vulnerabilities that you can’t share because you fear discrimination or getting pushed out?

This inquiring mind wants to know :).

I’ll leave you with some wisdom from Calvin & Hobbes.

image

mashable:

You show nothing, Jon Snow.
For being a hero of the Night’s Watch, the Game of Thrones character spends a lot of time looking dead inside.
Zoom Info
mashable:

You show nothing, Jon Snow.
For being a hero of the Night’s Watch, the Game of Thrones character spends a lot of time looking dead inside.
Zoom Info
mashable:

You show nothing, Jon Snow.
For being a hero of the Night’s Watch, the Game of Thrones character spends a lot of time looking dead inside.
Zoom Info
mashable:

You show nothing, Jon Snow.
For being a hero of the Night’s Watch, the Game of Thrones character spends a lot of time looking dead inside.
Zoom Info
mashable:

You show nothing, Jon Snow.
For being a hero of the Night’s Watch, the Game of Thrones character spends a lot of time looking dead inside.
Zoom Info
mashable:

You show nothing, Jon Snow.
For being a hero of the Night’s Watch, the Game of Thrones character spends a lot of time looking dead inside.
Zoom Info
mashable:

You show nothing, Jon Snow.
For being a hero of the Night’s Watch, the Game of Thrones character spends a lot of time looking dead inside.
Zoom Info
mashable:

You show nothing, Jon Snow.
For being a hero of the Night’s Watch, the Game of Thrones character spends a lot of time looking dead inside.
Zoom Info
mashable:

You show nothing, Jon Snow.
For being a hero of the Night’s Watch, the Game of Thrones character spends a lot of time looking dead inside.
Zoom Info

mashable:

You show nothing, Jon Snow.

For being a hero of the Night’s Watch, the Game of Thrones character spends a lot of time looking dead inside.

My husband and I had a hard week. A few days ago, a biopsy for my little black persian came back positive for an aggressive tumour. Yesterday we made the heartbreaking decision to put her down so that she wouldn’t suffer.
The day we found out the bad news, I took the photo above. My ginger girl, Samantha, is 18 years old. When we brought Maggie home 6 years ago, Sam was not impressed. The two of them became rivals for our attention. They tolerated each other, and eventually Maggie started to taunt Sam when it was clear she was getting up in years.
The same night we found out that Maggie would have to leave us much too soon, Samantha joined me on the bed with her. Samantha crept up next to Mags, groomed her a little bit (never happened before) then took no less than five tries to flop down next to her so that they were touching. It was one of the most heartbreaking and tender things I’ve ever seen. (And if that sounds like hyperbole, you need to understand just how crotchety and demanding Sam’s gotten in her old age). 

My husband and I had a hard week. A few days ago, a biopsy for my little black persian came back positive for an aggressive tumour. Yesterday we made the heartbreaking decision to put her down so that she wouldn’t suffer.

The day we found out the bad news, I took the photo above. My ginger girl, Samantha, is 18 years old. When we brought Maggie home 6 years ago, Sam was not impressed. The two of them became rivals for our attention. They tolerated each other, and eventually Maggie started to taunt Sam when it was clear she was getting up in years.

The same night we found out that Maggie would have to leave us much too soon, Samantha joined me on the bed with her. Samantha crept up next to Mags, groomed her a little bit (never happened before) then took no less than five tries to flop down next to her so that they were touching. It was one of the most heartbreaking and tender things I’ve ever seen. (And if that sounds like hyperbole, you need to understand just how crotchety and demanding Sam’s gotten in her old age). 

mashable:


Yulia Brodskaya

This is paper?!?!
Zoom Info
mashable:


Yulia Brodskaya

This is paper?!?!
Zoom Info
mashable:


Yulia Brodskaya

This is paper?!?!
Zoom Info
mashable:


Yulia Brodskaya

This is paper?!?!
Zoom Info
mashable:


Yulia Brodskaya

This is paper?!?!
Zoom Info

mashable:

Yulia Brodskaya

This is paper?!?!

(Source: cross-connect)

Another great video of one of my favourite quotes/life lessons.

Empathy, explained.

techcrunch:

Google explains how not to be a glasshole

techcrunch:

Google explains how not to be a glasshole

justinmwhitaker:

Only 4.7% of your customers generate 100% of your WOM. Find them. Engage them. Via Mack Collier.

justinmwhitaker:

Only 4.7% of your customers generate 100% of your WOM. Find them. Engage them. Via Mack Collier.