Learning how to display empathy is an important skill to have.

To understand someone you must first walk a mile in their moccasins"

To being with let us define what we mean by empathy

What is empathy?

People often confuse the words empathy and sympathy. Not always in their understanding of it, but in their displaying of it. Sometimes a person's intention is to empathise, however they end up patronising or sympathising.

"Empathy means ‘the ability to understand and share the feelings of another’ (as in both authors have the skill to make you feel empathy with their heroines), whereas sympathy means ‘feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune’ (as in they had great sympathy for the flood victims)."
Source: oxforddictionaries.com

How to become more empathic

Here are some techniques for becoming more empathic.

Understand it
Firstly, truly, understand the differences between empathy and sympathy.

Step 1 - Ask questions
Seek the other person’s views, before expressing your own.

Step 2 - Listen intently
Do not evaluate what they are saying when they are saying it, listen intently to every word.

Step 3 - Clarify understanding
Check that you have understood the meaning from the other person.

Step 4 - Change mindset
Close your mind on your own views and opinions, and open it up to others.

About the author

phil laviolettephil laviolette

Hi!, I'm Phil LaViolette, Founder and Owner of evalu8d. I created resourcily to share hints, tips and resources I've collected over 20 years of training and coaching, across lots of industries and at all levels. I hope that, even in a small way, you gain from the tools I share!