Changing Lives Through Developing Empathy

Have you ever felt a great sense of relief after opening up your problems to someone who really listened to you and have made you feel deeply understood? And after having listened to you, has given you clarity on the whole situation? If you have felt this, then you are not alone. In fact, many studies have proven that listening and making someone feel that they are understood, are some of the ways to snatch a person from depression and suicide. Amazing right?

Now imagine yourself being that someone. Imagine the impact you can make in someone else’s life by listening to them and making them feel that are important and understood. However, to have this ability, one should have a high level of empathy.

Empathy is defined as the ability to sense others’ feelings and perspectives, and taking an active interest in their concerns. It the ability to put yourself in another’s place and to take that perspective into account in your relationship with the other person .

People who are high in this competency are attentive to and are able to attune to a wide range of emotional signals. They listen for and sense the felt, but unspoken emotions in a person or group. They show sensitivity to and understand others’ perspectives and feelings and are aslo able to help the other person or the group based on an accurate understanding of their needs and feelings. Having these abilities, makes empaths great leaders.

How about you? Do you want to become a better leader to your team and to your organisation? If so, doing these tips will help you improve this competency:

 Listening is the key to empathy. Quiet your mind, still the inner clamour, and listen deeply for more than the other person’s words. Listen for the other person’s needs (I.e., to be respected, to be included, to be acknowledged).

• Identify underlying concerns that are not explicitly stated by others.

• Hear the emotions that accompany an expressed statement.

• Listen when someone approaches you to express their feelings (don’t be so busy you can’t talk with the other person about what’s important to them; don’t brush them off)

• Acknowledge what you think you’ve heard. Paraphrase, repeat back, and clarify the emotions you think you are hearing (I.e., “Sounds like you’re feeling frustrated”, or “Sounds like you’re pretty excited by this project”).

• Withhold your judgments; when tempted to criticize or dismiss the opinions of another, stop. Step back and consider, on an emotional level as well as a cognitive level, what the other person may be experiencing and what merits another’s point of view may have.

Having empathy towards others should never be considered a weakness but a strength. It can make a big in other people’s lives and to the world as well. Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King all three of them made a great impact in this world because of their empathy.

Henry Ford said it best: “If there is any great secret of success in life, it lies in the ability to put yourself in the other person’s place and to see things from his point of view – as well as your own.”

At People Builders we have a team of expert trainers and coaches who can help you and your team develop Empathy. Contact us today for a quick chat to see how we can partner with you to train and coach you and your team.

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