The concept of Empathy is one of the basic components of emotional and social intelligence. It is a critical part of self-awareness, relationships with others, and is key to successful leadership. Empathy is an attribute that consists of three interrelated parts:
- understanding another person’s perspective,
- considering how that person feels, and
- telling the other person you are aware of 1 & 2.
Even for those who excel at this attribute, it is easy to lose sight of empathy in daily interactions. Leaders swim amid a sea of data and emotions, sorting through it all with their own filters and biases. When they are not mindful of empathy, opportunities to build relationships are lost and relationships may even be damaged.
If you build empathy into your interactions, then you will establish trusting relationships.
We have found 2 techniques helpful with empathy: The Ladder of Inference and Deconstructing Conversations.
(Read how to practice empathy using the Ladder of Inference and Deconstructing Conversations in our April 2015 posts.)
What will practicing empathy get you?
How are your professional relationships working for you?
What would happen if you built deeper trust into your relationships?
Goleman, D. (2013, December). The Focused Leader: How Effective Executives Direct their Own – and their Organization’s – Attention. Harvard Business Review.
- Build Empathy into Your Interactions Part 2: Climbing the Ladder of Inference
- Build Empathy into Your Interactions Part 3: Deconstruct Your Conversations
- Thinking Partners: A Concept and a Compact
- The DOs & DON’Ts of Curious Listening: Tell Me More