People are not empathetic – they can be selfish and self-centred and not even be aware that they are:
I worked with a new client maybe 3 years ago. I facilitated an event for 200 people to get a handle on some new government policies that affect their organisations. I built into the day a feedback mechanism so that the government department could understand
1. what worked
2. What didn’t work
and I had a 3rd category of feedback
3. How I feel.
The key client rejects the third category:
Frankly, I don’t care about how they feel.
Setting aside that horrific statement (it’s horrific to me); my job is to make sure that how they feel in the moment doesn’t twist the flow of information and taint it.
My job, as facilitator, as trainer, as coach, as consultant, as change manager, is to make sure they are in the best state to receive that information, and if I can make them more receptive by understanding how they feel, changing the temperature of the room, giving them a chance to vent, or capitalising on their positive emotions, then I do that.
Why doesn’t everyone get that?
How people feel matters, even if it doesn’t change your policy.