Empathy to Connect and Build Relationships
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Empathy to Connect and Build Relationships

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This presentation describes how the ability to empathize can be utilized to connect with people, establish trust and build productive relationships.

This presentation describes how the ability to empathize can be utilized to connect with people, establish trust and build productive relationships.

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Empathy to Connect and Build Relationships Empathy to Connect and Build Relationships Presentation Transcript

  • Intelligent Leadership Styles Empathize to Connect and Build Emotional Credit with Your Peers and Staff
  • Empathy is not the Same as Sympathy Many people confuse empathy with sympathy – they are not the same. When you sympathize with someone you attempt to feel the same way they feel by recalling a time in your past when you felt the same way. One typically attempts to “mirror” the other person’s facial expressions and body language to demonstrate and confirm your sympathy for the other person. We typically sympathize in an attempt to make the other person feel better. You know what they say…”misery loves company.” This is true because we typically sympathize when the other person feels ill, is experiencing some tragedy, or has recently failed at something. When we sympathize we are saying…”I know how you feel because I’ve been there myself.”
  • Empathy has Two Elements – First Identify The first thing you must do to express empathy effectively is to correctly identify the emotion in question. Emotions are most readily identified by facial expressions and body language. To become skilled at identifying emotions, the first thing you must learn to do is PAY ATTENTION to others.
  • Empathy has Two Elements – First Identify You should begin developing your ability to identify emotions by beginning with the six basic, universal emotions. What do you think are the most and least commonly expressed emotions in the workplace? Happiness –Gain something of value Sadness –Lose something of value Surprise –Something is happening Anger –Blocked from getting something Fear –Possible threat Disgust –Rules are violated
  • The Most and Least Commonly Expressed Emotions Anger 53% Happiness 19% This finding suggests we tend to often be frustrated at work and find little happiness there. Learn to identify anger first, so you can empathize with your angry co-workers. Also, don’t be surprised if you infrequently notice happiness at work.
  • The Keys to Identifying Emotions Pay attention – too often we are concentrating on ourselves. We are thinking about what we are going to say and do next. How do we look? What are other people thinking about us? To develop your ability to identify emotions in others, you have to pay attention to the facial expressions and body language of others. Genuine expressions are often brief – so concentrated your focus on the initial responses people make on their faces and in their body language. Reactive bursts of emotion or “micro-expressions” are impossible to fake. We quickly mask certain expressions – many people think about what emotion they “should” feel to be “politically correct” in a situation and then as fast as they can display that emotion. The most common example is the “insincere” or fake smile.
  • Empathy’s Two Elements – Understanding is the Second Once you have identified the emotion, the next step is to understand why that person feels that way. To understand why the person is feeling the emotion you have identified you will need to ask some questions. It is best to be subtle and sincere in the way ask your questions to help you identify the source for the emotion.
  • Empathy’s Two Elements – Understanding is the Second You don’t want to ask to many questions or the other person will think you are prying and being too “nosey.” A good rule of thumb is to stop questioning when you believe you know enough to explain why this emotion is being felt…because that is what you are going to do next,
  • The Empathy Formula Of course you need to express this in your own words, but you make an empathetic statement in two parts: “You are feeling __________ because ________ , am I right?” First you describe the emotion you believe other person is feeling and then you explain your understanding of why the other person is feeling this way. If you are correct on both points – then you have successfully empathized. Congrats!
  • Why Bother to Empathize? People “connect” with one another through empathy. The ability to empathize has been the hallmark of many great leaders. Empathy promotes trust, builds productive relationships and produces “emotional credits” that will come in handy when you need a member of your staff to stay late or work a little harder to meet a deadline.
  • Intelligent Leadership Styles Questions? Contact: Dr. Phillip R. Ash professorash@ymail.com