Empathy is one of the most effective ways to have better relationships at work. Since empathy is often confused with sympathy, let’s first get some clarity on the two.
Empathy is the ability to understand other people’s feelings as if we had them ourselves. Sympathy is the ability to take part in someone else’s feelings, mostly by feeling sorrowful about their misfortune.
Now, do you think of yourself as an empathetic person? Have you ever thought about what empathy might mean for you professionally? For your organization?
Empathy is the antidote to disengagement at work. So, if we all need to be more empathetic to foster a more harmonious and productive work-life, what actions can we take?
Here are four quick ways to strengthen your empathy skills:
In a conversation, listening starts with minimizing your distractions (so please, no texting.) Putting your phone away and making direct eye contact will go a long way toward improving your concentration level. When you listen, you can truly hear what is said. Focus there first rather than thinking about what you want to say.
Showing you acknowledge the other person can be as simple as giving nonverbal body cues like nodding
Repeat back what people are saying to you. You can also try saying things like, “I hear you” or “I understand what you’re saying” to communicate that you have compassion for the other person.
ASK QUESTIONS TO CLARIFY.
Asking questions (without interrupting) to clarify what they’re communicating shows you are invested in the conversation. You can also offer to help with whatever the other person is experiencing.
How can we help?
If you or your team need help to identify obstacles and challenges in your workplace situation, contact Theresa, or visit our Contact Us page to schedule a 30-minute Complimentary Conversation. Reaching a goal is a journey, and Success Trek is here to take that journey alongside you.