Wisdom: Familiar Strangers at Work

Why getting to know your coworker is so important

More than a decade ago, I developed a little exercise to help people develop their ability to explore and understand the perceptual world of another person. That’s the skill of empathetic understanding—and it certainly comes in handy with the new approaches to leadership, teamwork, and collaboration. People are more comfortable when they feel that others, especially their boss, understand their needs, concerns and personal goals in life.

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Dr. Sandy Cotton