A little kindness... with empathy!


Susan Brimmer

Susan Brimmer

People and Organisational Development Manager

‘How are you?’

Many of us ask that question on a daily basis, but do we pay attention and really listen to what the person is telling us? This year’s Mental Health Awareness week has made me think about kindness and what it means for us to be living in this unusual situation. Most of us know that it feels good to be kind and help others. It’s also lovely when people are kind to us. Maybe one of the most simple and effective ways to show kindness is to make time for others and next time we ask ‘how are you?’, really mean it, be fully present and listen to what the person is telling you.

This is something particularly important right now. There will be a wide range of different answers to “how are you?” So it’s important to be empathetic - conscious that everyone will be reacting to our present situation in different ways. I am so proud of our #OneTeam at the OGTC, who consistently demonstrate what it means to be kind and supportive – and it all stems from having empathy.

If you haven’t seen it yet, even if you have, I’d encourage you to watch Brene Brown’s explanation of empathy and sympathy. I’ve watched it loads of times, but after watching it again recently in the context of our ‘new normal’, it really struck me just how important it is to listen and empathise. In fact, doing that is more caring that talking and sympathising. Empathy brings people together and makes people feel included, while sympathy can make sometimes make people feel even more isolated and disconnected – even if the intension is good.

So be kind to yourself, take a coffee break and click on the link below to brush up on a great skill to help others during these difficult times. Next step? Think about somebody you haven’t heard from for a while, reach out and ask them how they are. Be kind and show you care. #KindnessMatters