Empathy is the cornerstone of emotional intelligence, a skill that opens the door to relationship success strengthens our well-being and overall quality of life. I discuss these benefits in my book, The Power of Emotion.
THE POWER OF EMOTION | CHAPTER 23 | OVERVIEW
What is Empathy and Why Do We Need it?
Do you consider yourself to be an empathetic person?
Empathy is the capacity to recognize and understand others' feelings and opinions. True empathy requires that you step outside yourself to view things entirely from the other person's perspective. To work effectively with others, we need empathy to help us meet each others' needs. It allows us to trust one another and ultimately bond.
During my lengthy career, I have worked with numerous individuals who lacked empathy and had low emotional intelligence. Some were my colleagues, supervisors, and employees. Without a doubt, all were challenging to work with.
You see, individuals who lack empathy have no interest in those around them. They are self-absorbed and are unable to understand how others think or feel. In my new book, I share personal experiences.
We Can Increase Our Empathy
We develop empathy by perceiving others' feelings, understanding their emotions, and utilizing that understanding to relate to them more effectively. The emphasis must be on "emotion," making connections with how others are feeling.
It's a problem when individuals lack empathy. The good news is we can develop empathy skills. Some individuals are born with keen empathetic skills that they practice regularly, but fundamental empathy skills are not innate for everyone. Adults can grow their empathetic skills to advance productive relationships with others.
How to Develop Empathy
To begin, people must realize the need to strengthen and build their empathy skills. They must understand it is for their improvement and the greater good of the organization. There must be considerable buy-in to affect change in their behaviour. Finally, they need to practise their new skills to recognize how it positively impacts their relationships and conflict resolution.
Without question, considerable skills build empathy and relationships. You can find many more strategies to develop emotional intelligence and empathy in my book, The Power of Emotion.
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