Is there a life after the holidays?

If you have been on vacation, you may be surprised how your work footwear may be shrunk so much that your feet are hard to get in.

From my clients, I also hear that the rest of the workwear can be difficult to get back on. The free thoughts of the holiday, creative ideas and peace of mind fill more than the space in our personal working day.
Can not you recognize yourself in this, or have you just not had a vacation recently? So I hope you can still use this newsletter when you sweat your colleagues who get sunburned or activity-exhausted back.

What helps many of us to land softly in everyday life is the feeling of joining the community again. I have a few tips for that.

Do I need to listen?

Even I get easier desperate when I'm part of a conversation, where three colleagues in turn tell about each and every experience, and nobody really listens to anyone other than himself.

Colleagues are often reluctant to tell details of their holidays. It may challenge our patience to hear about Uncle Gustav's unfortunate barbecue adventure and a particularly cheap market in Florence. Even I would like to be heard too - and also like to approach me emails and memoranda waiting - there was one reason I asked the alarm clock.

How does it work with a desire to help both myself and the others to feel welcome back in the workplace?

The art is to listen empathically rather than passively. It can give the colleague a wonderful experience of being back and being heard and seen and it can give us a feeling of restoring the contact. However, it implies what many of us immediately find uncomfortable: interrupting. On the other hand, it is worth it and even time saving.

Loving interruptions

The right time to interrupt is as soon as you get tired of listening. Here are some ways you can stop the story without interrupting the contact:

- Lisbeth, what an experience! What was it very best know what happened?

- Bent, how much you've seen! How are you right now, where do you think?

- Tove, did not you really be surprised?

- Kurt, it sounds like you really needed respect when you stopped on the highway !?

The common denominator is empathy

It's about tagging the story from the inside, from the narrator's angle. Empathy is not to give Kurt the right to say that the policeman was an idiot, but to let him know that I understand the power and longing for respect.

When we listen, we can look for energy, feelings and longings behind what the colleague says. As in the examples, we can interrupt to change the direction of what is being said. Puff the story there where there is life, instead of listening to a repeat of a story that has already been told many times and almost become a recording.

More efficient than smalltalk

This simple form of empathy, where the listener listens for the energy of the narrative, helps create an empathetic culture in the workplace.

It is different from hearing strips of events or thoughts and assessments. It is a focus on lived life, on feelings and needs. And it is experienced by the vast majority as interest and contact.

It does not need to seize the hourly account. Often, the regular idle talk is a much larger item in time consumption, and it tends to shrink when we really have heard each other in this way.

To be interested in the feelings and needs that live behind what is being said is what I understand about empathy. Perhaps you are a natural empathist. For all of us, the good news is that with a few simple tricks we can expand the repertoire or improve our empathetic capacity.