Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
In challenging times like these, it’s even more important than usual that your workforce knows you are trustworthy and caring. Effective empathy is something you can develop through regular practice of these six skills:
• Curiosity: Take the time to be curious about what other people think. Try to fully understand their point of view.
• Authentic Listening: Most people don’t truly listen. Stop planning what you are going to say, and focus on really hearing their thoughts and feelings.
• Imagination: Think about what it would be like to walk in their shoes. What if you woke up one morning and found you had switched places in life with them?
• Vulnerability: Respectfully share your reactions and feelings about what the other person is saying to confirm your full understanding.
• Sensitivity to Others’ Emotions: Develop your “emotional radar” to pick up on what people are feeling by watching their body language and facial expressions.
• Respect: Don’t initiate action. Instead, let them choose whether to ask for your help (they may only want your empathy).