Pune, India

Everyday MUSINGS 1: ‘EMPATHY’ – A missing People Skill


Everyday MUSINGS 1: ‘EMPATHY’ – A missing People Skill


‘EMPATHY – a missing People Skill these days’


It was a usual weekend outing with family to a newly built shopping mall (extension of one of the best hotels in the city). It wasn’t a mad rush but still, there were a good amount of people around.




The mall management has done a good job in creating a lounge area with comfy chairs, ottomans and big couches – made for people to just hang around and chill.


The place was packed with people and I somehow could get my hands on a chair in one corner – while the family was busy shopping.


I was killing time on my phone when I saw a group of people walking in with cameras & other gears. They stood in a corner, scanning the entire area and looking a little worried In about a couple of minutes, some people from mall concierge joined them, then some folks from mall’s security team joined and the group just swelled.

It didn’t take me long to figure out that they were there to do some video shoot kind of thing and were worried about the people occupying their shooting location (I was one of them).


Next, I saw one of the security guys walking up to a group sitting in the lounge and started talking to them. I couldn’t hear him but could figure that he was asking them to vacate the place for the shoot to take place.


Well, quite expectedly – he got rebutted badly by the group and rightfully so as they were really having a good time. ‘How can you ask someone to just leave?’ – am assuming that’s what they might have said! The poor guy went back to his group, dejected and the group got even more tensed and worried. All this went on for some time while I sat in the corner watching everything.


In that moment, it hit me that these guys are missing a very vital aspect of People Skills i.e. EMPATHY. They certainly had to do what they had come for and for that they had to move those people from the area – but certainly not the way they were trying to do it.


So, being a Samaritan – I walked up to the leader of the group (you can always tell who it is) and shared a piece of advice. I suggested that they should personally go and talk to each group in the area – explaining the reason. I also suggested that they should first get the tables in the coffee shop on the lower floor arranged for these guys to make them comfortable.


Amazingly, the leader took my advice positively and spoke to his team about that. They quickly divided themselves into 3-4 smaller groups and started talking to the guests one-by-one. I was very happy & satisfied to see the results – in less than 3 minutes the entire area was vacated and people were relocated to the lower floor coffee shop.

The whole team was delighted and they came one and all to thank me – it felt really nice. I spoke to them for a couple of minutes on the magic that EMPATHY can do and then they went on to do their thing, happily.


Lesson learned: 

People are usually WILLING to HELP, you need to ASK appropriately!






Do you think there could have been a better way to handle the situation? How do you feel about EMPATHY as a People Skill? Would you want to share any personal experience? Share in comments.


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