Empathy – a Skill to Show You Understand Others

November 29th, 2018

 

showing-empathy-workplace

Empathy is getting a lot of attention these days. But what is it exactly and why can it help you with your career? In short, empathy is the ability to understanding the feelings of the people around you. It’s putting yourself in their shoes, so to speak. And this essential social skill is being lost for many people, so it’s beyond time to cultivate it again in the U.S. workforce. When you’re working with different personality types, it’s essential that you’re able to see things from their perspective. Here are some ways to work on cultivating your empathy.

How to solve problems.

Empathy is the basis of most interpersonal skills, including problem-solving strategies. When you’re dealing with workplace conflict, it’s easy to point fingers and assign blame. But it’s more important to take a step back and evaluate the situation from the other person’s perspective to determine an equitable solution that will help everyone involved.

How to handle different personalities.

At various points in your career, you’ll be working with people who come from different backgrounds or who have very different personalities. Digging in your heels to expect everyone to cater to you specifically is counterproductive. Instead, take time to learn what makes everyone tick so you can have a thoughtful conversation with them whenever a topic arises that may lead to disagreements.

How to handle stress.

Stress is a common occurrence in the workplace, but that certainly doesn’t make it healthy. And while the stress itself can be unavoidable, how you react to it will be essential. Cultivating your empathy can give you the skills you need to better manage your stress or even the stress levels of those around you. It’s all about positive coping strategies rather than self-destructive behaviors.

How to listen better.

But the most important thing that skills in empathy can provide for you and your career is a better ability to listen to others. It’s natural for us to listen just long enough to formulate our response, but that can lead to misunderstandings or the feeling of needing to one-up the other person. Instead, practice active listening techniques. Repeat back what they’ve said and make sure you fully understand. Then take time to formulate a response.

Work With a Top Staffing Agency in Houston TX

Do you want to be more empathetic on the job? Contact Meador Staffing, now hiring for jobs in Houston TX, to learn more.

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StrengthsFinder Series – Empathy – A Closer Look at Empathy as a business skill

November 21st, 2018

empathy in business

Empathy is something we associate more often with social interactions. It’s what some of you may feel when you see a sad movie, hear inspiring stories, or listen to someone talk about an experience they’ve had and it moves you or you can feel what they feel. It could relate to your own experiences or maybe you are just naturally more of an empathetic person. It’s not something that you think you should put on your resume or LinkedIn profile, so, how does empathy fit into the business equation? Let’s start with what it is…

em·pa·thy
/ˈempəTHē
Noun
The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

Clifton’s StrengthsFinder Definition: People exceptionally talented in the Empathy theme can sense other people’s feeling by imagining themselves in others’ lives or situations.

What better way to start a post about Empathy, than to read a line by a poet on the matter? Poetry enables us to feel a story rather than just read words strung together. This line, by Alexander Pope, happens to work for us on multiple levels; not only does it pull at our heartstrings a bit through his rhyme and language choice, but by the wisdom he shares on empathy, itself. Essentially, he is saying that we can learn a lot from putting ourselves in others’ shoes and seeing their situation for what it is rather than focusing on their faults, while also hoping others give us that same mercy.

How we use empathy in daily business

Empathy is a great characteristic to have in many types of businesses, especially where you an make a direct and important impact on someone. It can also be a good practice to have when you interact with your coworkers or employees. It’s easy to get caught up in where the bottom line is at and sticking to processes, but seeing your peers and coworkers for who they are what they feel can actually help in how you interact with them. It can even improve upon the less emotional things, like how much you sold last month or how many new customers you gained.

Video – Community leaders and business owners on Meador Staffing history and culture

We have a knack for hiring internal employees who listen well and understand our candidates’ and clients’ needs. Not just when filling a position or find a job, but in a way where we connect with them to understand what is important and what drives them in their own missions in life and careers. To some candidates or clients, it can be about success or reaching goals, to others it is about taking care of their family or something greater. Our team is exceptional at applying it with candidates, though. There are times where we have to let an applicant know that they didn’t get a position. Even in uncomfortable situations, they are treated no differently, and politely coached on how to avoid the issue in the future. It’s essential in our offices to treat everyone the same…as if we were in their shoes. We even try to match candidates according to the culture at client companies. This has to be a good match to bring to success to all involved. Listening to and knowing our clients pain points helps us create the best matches. This is our way of applying empathy.

 

focused empathy in business

Sharing employee strengths

We actually have about twelve internal employees with this theme, many in our corporate office and others in direct contact with our applicants. It really makes an impact on their experience with us. We do use the Clifton StrengthsFinder method mentioned earlier (if you haven’t heard about it, you should definitely take the time to read about it) as a way to learn more about what drives our employees and applicants. We focus on the top 5 strengths to see how they might fit in with the team and culture and what skills may complement those who already work with us. As a part of our hiring process, we can better understand them through this evaluation. Once they are hired, we display those five strengths on everyone’s desks. This helps each of us choose the best ways to interact, speak, engage, debate, discuss, email, and how to build a positive peer relationship in general. We can understand who they are.

You see, Empathy the definition and Empathy the Strength are two different things all together. Anyone can empathize with someone, but not everyone has the ability to sense emotion of those around them. Those with Empathy in their Top 5 can feel what others are feeling as if the emotions were their own. They intuitively see the world through others’ eyes and share their perspectives. They perceive people’s pain or joy – sometimes before it is even expressed. Their instinctive ability to understand is powerful. They can hear unvoiced questions and anticipate needs. Where others grapple for words, they seem to find the right things to say and strike the right tone. As a result, they help people express their feelings – to themselves as well as to others. They help people give voice to their emotional lives. (Gallup)

How leaders can use empathy

As a leader, you have plenty of chances to use empathy in your decision-making. An employee might be going through something and you need to counsel them or maybe you’ve found out that they need advice on how to handle a client or peer situation. It may not seem like a big deal to you, but if you understand that they have these feelings and maybe why they have them, you can more effectively communicate and advise them. Let’s dig deeper into it-

It’s easy for us to discard Empathy as a strength because we are often taught that emotion is a weakness. What does Empathy look like in the arsenal of a leader? Wouldn’t it be beneficial for your manager to be able to instinctively understand the unvoiced questions of your team? To anticipate the need? To have the right tone and say the right things when your team is under stress?

These are just a few of Empathy’s “Power” and “Edge” traits in the Clifton method. It’s not about feeling pity for the person’s predicament. That would be sympathy. It is to simply understand them. Along with the leader’s other talents in their Top 5, Empathy can be an incredible buffer for some of the more “unemotional” strength themes like Command, Analytical, or Focus.

Applying empathy in the real world

Empathy with Command sounds like this, “I can sense emotions that others may not notice. When I express a strong emotion, it is clear to everyone and delivered with everyone else’s in mind.” Empathy with Analytical says, “My approach to life involves both rational intelligence of my mind and the emotional intelligence of my heart.” Empathy and Focus sounds like, “My intentional concentration on achieving a specific goal never keeps me from being emotionally sensitive or expressive.”

As you can see, Empathy is an incredibly powerful strength theme in the Clifton StrengthFinder’s list of 34 themes. In a season where being thankful is at the forefront of our minds, lean on those with Empathy talents to help you define what thankfulness means. Through their talents, they will be able to help you put into perspective the things that are truly important, and that is the people around you.

To schedule a seminar with your employees at a Meador Staffing training room or in your own to learn how to apply the Clifton StrengthsFinder method, contact rmeador@meador.com.

To learn more about hiring employees recruited through our talented teams, click here.

Ryan Meador-Director of Development, Meador Staffing Services

Heather Wright-Director of Marketing, Meador Staffing Services

 

Why Do Employees Look for a New Job? Examine These 5 Reasons

November 15th, 2018

top-employees-leave-job

Are you star performers happy on the job? Would you know if they weren’t? Many managers seem surprised when their employees give their two-week notice before leaving a position where they perform well. But there are a lot of reasons employees look for a new job. If you want to reduce turnover in your company, it’s a good idea to examine these give reasons and make changes to keep your team more satisfied

1. They feel underappreciated.

Many managers have the mindset that someone should do what they’re in the office to do every day, no questions asked and without any thanks. But employees want to be noticed for their contribution. If you’re not taking time to appreciate your team, they may be starting to look for other opportunities outside of your company.

2. They don’t get along with their manager.

Of course, there may be instances when personality conflicts inform an employee’s need to consider different employment. If this manager is you, what can you do to change the dynamic? If it is someone else in your company, and the issue is repeated, what can you do to solve that problem?

3. Their pay is poor.

Experts encourage job seekers to look at more than just the salary when making an employment decision, but we have to be honest. Money does impact our decision-making skills, and if they discover they can earn more for a similar role elsewhere, they are likely to reach out and see if they can make a transition. Are your salaries competitive within the industry?

4. The equipment is outdated or unsafe.

Whether the role is in the office or the warehouse, many employees will become frustrated with outdated equipment. For your office worker, it may be slow computers, obsolete software, or clunk printers or copiers that require more babysitting, keeping them away from the work that matters. For your warehouse, outdated equipment can pose a safety concern or worse.

5. They have no chance at advancement.

Finally, you want to look at what kind of advancement your employees have within your company. If they feel like they’ve reached the top of the jobs your company can offer, they may become restless and start looking at other options to help with their career advancement. Companies that invest in their employees’ futures are likely to keep them engaged and satisfied.

Work With a Leader in Temp Services in Houston

Do you want to ensure that your team is engaged on the job? Contact Meador Staffing, a leader in temp services in Houston TX, to see how we can help.

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Meador Staffing is featured in the Pasadena Business Journal

November 13th, 2018

Take a look at our own Darla Haygood and members of our great community talking about our 50 years in business:

The Pasadena Business Journal is a television show all about business in Pasadena, Texas.  They showcase local businesses, interview business owners, discuss business strategies and plans and look at what the current business trends are in Pasadena. View more episodes here.

 

CASE STUDY: Staffing Projects with 3rd Party Hiring Restrictions

November 8th, 2018

 

Staffing Projects with 3rd Party Hiring Restrictions

Summary

One of the largest energy companies in the world is in need of an equipment rental company for a large project. This required the equipment rental company to hire additional employees due to the size of the project.

Challenge
When the equipment rental proposal was presented, including the staff count, the equipment rental company was informed by the energy company that they could not use 3rd party employees for the project. They must be employed directly with the equipment rental company. If the company were to lose the opportunity, it would stand to lose a significant amount of money, as well as future chances to partner on the energy company’s projects.

Solution
When the issue was presented to Meador Staffing Services, it was clear that there were no other options for the rental company. They needed to add additional staff to accommodate the volume of work needed for the project and to win the contract.

Meador Staffing offers many staffing options, including contract and temporary. In order for the proposal to be accepted…DOWNLOAD  THE FULL CASE STUDY HERE

Quiet Personalities CAN Stand Out in the Job Interview!

November 8th, 2018

quiet-personalities-stand-out-job-interview

Being shy or an introvert doesn’t mean you can’t shine in your interview. A quiet personality can have a lot of benefits for an employer, so you just need to know how to sell your strengths in your next interview. But if you’re quiet, an interview can be a very terrifying prospect. How do you effectively communicate the reasons someone should hire you even when you feel intimidated by the process? Here are some tips for you to let your quiet personality stand out in your next interview.

Plan ahead.

Start with your homework. As a quiet, potentially introverted personality, you probably shine when it comes to empathy, critical thinking, and complex problem-solving. Use that to your advantage by researching the company and the job ahead of time. You can also research common interview questions and be prepared to answer them. You should also be ready for anything that might go wrong and have a plan to turn the situation around.

Be who you are.

You shouldn’t go in with the false dichotomy that extroverts are good and introverts are bad. There are a lot of amazing things about being a quiet, introspective person so make sure you focus on those. For example, be sure to tell them about your ability to think through complex problems before providing an answer. Or how you are empathetic to others in the workplace.

Consider the other side.

Of course, extroverts do have a lot of positive personality traits as well. And you can certainly look at their behavior to help you ace your interview. For example, determine how to be more confident in your interview by observing extroverts in the company environment. You can talk to more boisterous people in your life and get some advice on things to incorporate into your interview strategy.

Follow up.

If you’re quiet, you may find yourself better able to communicate in writing than in person. So, take the time after the interview to send a thank you email. This allows to reiterate your interest in the position and even add some things you might have forgotten to say in the interview.

Work With a Top Staffing Agency in Pasadena TX

Do you want to know more ways to shine as a quiet candidate? Contact the team at Meador Staffing, now hiring for jobs in Pasadena TX.

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How Can You Prepare Candidates for the Interview?

November 1st, 2018

 

prepare-job-candidate-interview

What is a company’s responsibility for educating potential candidates about their open positions and company culture? Experts tell job seekers that they need to do their research and be prepared for interviews, but do all job seekers know how to find this kind of information? What if a company could help the process by providing more information ahead of time? Would it be worth it for your company to better prepare candidates for your interviews? Let’s take a closer look.

Write a thorough job description.

You can help candidates be better prepared before they ever even apply to your job. How many times have you placed a job posting only to get too many resumes with not enough of the right experience? By creating a more thorough job description, you can bring in more qualified candidates who have a better understanding of the job right from the start.

Share rich media about your company.

Rich media is a term used in marketing to describe advertising that includes visual or video components. For example, you may create an infographic that describes your company culture and share it on your website and social platforms. Or put out a series of videos for the open positions. People are more likely to click on these posts and retain the information.

Share videos on with your networks.

Creating rich media is important, but it’s also essential that you share video content to make the information easily discoverable and accessible for potential candidates. When you create video content about your company culture or the jobs you hire for, share it on your social media sites. This is the way that candidates will search your company to learn more, so make it easy to find.

Create a job seeker FAQ.

Frequently Asked Questions pages have been a staple on the web since the invention of the internet. It can really help candidates better understand your company, your application process, and the specific job. What do you with people would know before interviewing with your company? Use that as a start for beginning an FAQ.

Help Your Candidates Find the Best Jobs in Houston TX

Do you want to know more about creating a welcoming environment for job seekers and new employees? Contact Meador Staffing today to work with a top temp agency in Houston TX.

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