empathy in the workplace

A SweetRush project manager shares her moving story and the power of empathy in the workplace.


In January 2014 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was only 41 and to say it was a shock would be understating my reaction. It was caught early, and I was fortunate to not need chemotherapy. I also didn’t need radiation, but that is because I chose to have a bilateral mastectomy. I had four surgeries by the time that year was over. Without a doubt, it was the most challenging time of my life.

The unending love and support from my family and friends helped carry me through. My SweetRush family also supported me and my daughter in ways I never could have imagined—from phone calls and emails to a Spotify get-well playlist just for me, letters and cards, flowers, candy, tea, and countless intangible acts of love and support. It was amazingly wonderful and helped me get through that year. They cried with me, laughed with me and celebrated with me when it was clear that I was going to be okay. The collective love was astounding and carried me through some pretty hard moments. I could feel the love across the miles.

When I hear the word empathy, words like compassion, connection, listening, and heart comes to mind. When I think about empathy, I think about how powerful it is, and yet how untapped it is. I also think about how much empathy flows through SweetRush. And I have been super fortunate to be the recipient of so much of the SweetRush empathy.

There is a lot happening in the world. From mass shootings to destructive weather events to wars, these are turbulent times. And no doubt there are individuals experiencing personal life challenges as well. There is also a lot of good happening in the world. Empathy shows up time and again during these situations, especially at SweetRush.

I see it during our meetings, during personal conversations with my coworkers, and on a larger scale when our company leaders take the time to send us messages of love and hope. I see it on our social media posts, in our email signatures, and even our Skype profiles. We are love and light to each other. We lift each other up during difficult times and celebrate each other during good times. We mourn for the world’s tragedies, and we spread good vibes from positive news stories.

It makes a difference knowing that SweetRush has a deep love and respect for all of us and for our world, and I feel incredibly fortunate to be a part of it all. Our old tagline was “We Care.” Nothing could be more true.

And I still listen to my get-well playlist from time to time!

Trina Jones is a Project Manager at SweetRush. She has been working with us for more than six years.

(6) Comments

    Trina Jones

    Like all companies we struggle to find ways to distill our messaging, the elevator pitch, and how do we encapsulate and boil down the essence of who we are. Your story answers the ‘who we are’ question in a way that goes beyond platitudes, is real, and says it all. I am so proud of you, who you are, your honesty, bravery and willingness to share. Thank you, hugs, arturo

    Trina Jones

    Thank you Arturo!

    Trina Jones

    Thank you for sharing your experience, Trina. I was (and am) completely impressed by your courage and perseverance through that ordeal. I am glad to know that SweetRush struck the right note in supporting you and being true to our values.

    Trina Jones

    Thank you Linda!

    Trina Jones

    Trina- I was just going through Sweet Rush’s site and stumbled upon your post. Seeing the words “empathy” and “workplace”
    in one sentence drew me. What a refreshing and truthful message. I think it is incredible you had the support of your employees and continue
    to see a clear connection with those you work with on a daily basis. Moreover, that Sweet Rush’s tag line is a living breathing message vs
    words on a screen. Wishing you an abundant and adventurous new year! –Tina Zaremba

    Trina Jones

    Thank you very much Tina!

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