Empathy is "the ability to understand and share the feelings of another" -Oxford dictionary
According to leaders.com, empathy is an important skill for leaders to have.
"Team members who feel like their leaders understand and care about them are more likely to perform better. In turn, this affects how much a business can succeed and grow. When employees know how to be empathetic, they can use their improved communication skills to better relate to customers."
An article in Forbes.com, The Power of Empathy for Business, explains that only with empathy can companies grow but also is an important ingredient in communication. And the ability to be empathic needs to be developed.
Empathy in the workplace can take various forms. It is sometimes overlooked or undervalued in the job, and this is understandable; after all, when you work, you often rely on statistics and facts, not emotions. I've found that empathy is a skill that can be cultivated by honing one's communication abilities. But there's a lot riding on your ability to listen and comprehend. To genuinely understand each other, we need empathy. It stands to reason that if you take the time to truly get to know and understand people, as well as what inspires them, you may be able to better communicate and interact with them.
You can improve you ability to show empathy in the workplace if you commit to working hard and pushing past your boundaries. Follow the prompts in the graphic and practice with every interaction you have.
Be genuinely curious about others. We all have biases. Work to identify yours and try to set them aside. Be brave, be vulnerable and open yourself up to curiosity about others.
Imagine yourself in others' shoes. Diversity of thought and coming together can help establish a stronger culture at work. Let go of your ego and show respect for other people's points of view. Try to understand why they feel the way they do and understand it from their perspective. That might inspire them to understand yours and you can find a better solution for both of you.
Be an attentive listener. A lot of people don't do this. Allow the speaker to finish the thought they are expressing. It is a sign of respect and consideration, which goes hand in hand with empathy.
Discover similarities. Ask questions and probe for things that you might both have in common. Even if you don't agree with or understand 100% where the other person is coming from, there are always aspects of what they are saying that you will have in common. For example if you like dogs and they like cats, you both like pets.
Share who you are. Sharing more about yourself shows vulnerability and will you connect with the other person at a more emotional level.
Validate others feelings. Again, you don't have to completely agree with them or even understand their feelings. Stating what you are observing about their feelings, helps the other person feel understood. It gives them an affinity toward you.
It's is important to bring our head and our heart to work.