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Empathy: The Muscle that Must Continue to Grow

Empathy is a choice. It's like a muscle that can be strengthened overtime through practice and consideration of others. Amidst all of the uncertainty and adversity faced by today's working world, it has become increasingly important to choose empathy when interacting with others and conducting business.

The 21st Way

21st Mortgage has instilled a culture of growth that, in turn, promotes an empathetic atmosphere. Since opening its doors in 1995, the Team Members of 21st have had paths laid out for career success. In the past 28 years, those paths have only grown: we now have 20 official departments with a variety of positions and responsibilities that contribute to the success of the company.

By virtue of a system that promotes from within, empathy is a choice that should come easily to leaders and managers. 21st Mortgage recognizes the need to actively establish an empathetic atmosphere. Leaders are given empathy training through 21st Academy, and Team Members are given opportunities to discuss and promote empathy through development topics.

Nearly every manager has been in the exact position of their respective Team Members during their career. Whether it's the Financial Counselor, Insurance Agent, Credit Assistant, or others, their managers can relate to the daily triumphs, trials and tribulations that their Team Members face. All managers are able to understand the highs and lows of their teams: from the feeling of meeting goals at the end of the month to the occasional frustrations that come along with any job.

A culture that is founded upon growth, and strengthening its empathetic muscle, is a culture that leads to success. As the leader in the Manufactured Housing Industry, for over a decade now, that culture continues to grow. For many years, Tim Williams and his team have led the charge. 28 years later, They have added almost 1,000 Team Members to continue growing and finding success.

The Process is Continuous

Empathetic leadership is a continuous learning process. The Center for Creative Leadership has created a simplified list to encourage empathetic leadership in the workplace:

1. Talk About Empathy in the Workplace

21st Mortgage has taken initiative to increase the strength of its empathetic muscle. 21st Academy provides managers and leaders the resources to improve their empathy skills through discussion and workshops. Team Members across the company are also given opportunities to participate in empathetic growth through a number of Desserts & Development topics.

2. Teach Listening Skills

Active listening is crucial to empathy. A team that feels heard and understood is a team that finds belonging and success. Listening and communication, like empathy, are muscles that need to constantly exercise to be strengthened. 21st leaders are supplied with a listening and communication workshop to understand the most effective forms of communication for their teams.

3. Encourage Genuine Perspective-Taking

Roundtable discussions, surveys, and annual reviews are all tools utilized by 21st leaders to understand the deeper meanings behind Team Member feedback.

4. Cultivate Compassion

Compassion is a critical piece of equipment for strengthening the empathy muscle. It can't always be taught, but environments that support compassionate managers are more likely to promote empathy.

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