Monday, May 20, 2024


Empathy is sometimes a hard concept to use in real life, so I offer one experience from my working days to demonstrate.

An Information Technology (IT) person is asked for help on a user's PC and says the seemingly innocent phrase "It's easy."  But if you look at the person's face on the receiving end, it's pretty clear the message received is "I must be stupid as I've been trying for ten minutes to figure this out."  It's surely not the intended message, but you won't see it if you're not looking for a reaction.

I learned to use the phrase "It's not hard, but it's not obvious" when assisting someone.  "Not obvious" calms the person's nerves.  They're not dumb, the designer of the interface hid this feature under layers of menus with not-so-helpful titles.  I've literally seen people's shoulders relax after I've said this.  I use "It's not hard" just to avoid using the word "easy", assuring them that they can do it.

No comments:

Post a Comment