Empathy is the psychological software that allows people to care about those who need help. It is the capacity to feel the emotions of others. The presence of another caring person makes people feel more connected. It is empathy that transcends teamwork and cooperation to a level of service excellence.
A dispatcher may possess operational and technical expertise in abundance, but these skills alone comprise only half of what is required. The other half is empathy. World-class service professionals must possess the ability to balance their empathy and expertise.
The other half is empathy.
Office workers rely on their ability to zero in on a problem’s root cause. The self-confidence gained in diagnosing and fixing operational problems grows with experience; and after many years, this trait can affect a dispatcher’s communication style and tone of voice. An experienced dispatcher speaks with a greater level of certainty and authority because he knows his stuff. This is evident in his tone of voice – but this should never sound condescending to coworkers.
Expertise should be tempered with a dose of humility and empathy. Humility enables an expert to believe that listening to the ideas of others is a worthwhile practice. If expertise and empathy require balance when serving customers, then the same thing applies to self-confidence and ego. Ego in this context can be defined as “an inflated feeling of pride and self importance.” The most successful service professionals maintain a balance of empathy, expertise, self-confidence, and ego.
Going the extra mile for customers and coworkers, while often an individual effort, is important due to a pervasive attitude within a company—this is the company’s culture. The underlying emotion that drives a culture of teamwork and cooperation , and in putting other’s needs above our own, is empathy.