Have you ever been harsh to someone or discredited their actions because you thought they were not responsible enough then regretted later. When you do not take time to understand situations from the other person’s perspective you are likely to display actions and words that are inappropriate to the situation or person. You then hurt or destroy connections because you did not take time to fit in the other person’s shoes.
Empathy is the ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people and to treat others according to their emotional reactions. The easiest way to connect with someone is to try and walk in their shoes, see things from their perspective.
Empathy requires a close connection to one’s feelings. You can only understand the emotional reactions of others by knowing your reactions and triggers. We all come hard-wired with the same emotions.
The more you are able to feel and understand your emotional landscape (including negative emotions), the larger your capacity for empathy for others.
If you are empathetic you demonstrate below emotional skills;
- Understanding others – This means that;
- You understand other people’s feelings and perspectives and take an active interest in their concerns.
- You are attentive to emotional cues and listen well to other people.
- You show sensitivity and understand other people’s perspectives.
- You help out based on understanding other people’s needs and feelings
- Developing others – This means that;
- Want to see you become better, cheerleaders
- You acknowledge and reward people’s strengths and accomplishments.
- You offer useful feedback and identify people’s needs for further growth.
- You sense others developmental needs and bolster their abilities.
- Leveraging diversity – This means that you;
- Respect and relate well to people from varied backgrounds.
- Understand diverse worldviews and are sensitive to different groups.
- See diversity as an opportunity and cultivate those opportunities.
- Challenge bias/stereotypes and intolerance