Why and How To Be More Empathic

Empathy is a popular word these days.

The dictionary describes empathy as ” the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within the other person’s frame of reference.”

In common sense terms, to have empathy means that you can climb into the other guy’s shoes and be pretty good at knowing how he sees things.

Technology and modern invention is driving this push toward empathy. It is a fact that machines can do more and more. Machines read. They calculate. They adjust based on what they see. Paperwork is being eliminated. Physical labor minimized. There’s a lot going on.

What people can do is see problems and solve them. They can imagine new uses for technology and employ them. They can build teams and motivate them. They can connect with people and sell them.

So, getting to know others, figuring out what makes them tick and working with them to make things better is getting more important all the time.

How do you become more empathic?

Listen. Pay attention to those around you. Learn what motivates them. Take an interest in those around you.

Ask questions. Share stories. Build connection.

Create trust. Fulfill your commitments. Honor your word. The more you are trusted, the more you learn about those who trust you.

Learn from your interactions. Become aware of likes and dislikes of those you are around. Be sensitive to them. Respect them.

While many are calling for greater empathy amongst us, the threat is that our love of smart phones, television screens and games is dulling our “human” skills.

One focused on developing empathy is aware of those risks and mitigates them.

How’s your empathy skill? It’s a good thing to improve.