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Empathy Skills

Cincinnati, OH | Posted: 11/08/2015 | Author: April Koenig

Empathy Skills

Empathy is defined as the ability to recognize other people’s feelings. A critical quality of any effective business leader is the ability to show that empathy when dealing with employees. Understanding of what an employee is going through means you’re aware of how their needs are affected. You’ve probably been in their shoes, which is important for an employee to know. Even when you don’t agree or see eye to eye with them, empathy matters. Why? Well…

Trust – First and foremost, plain and simple. Empathy builds trust between an employee and boss. And if your employees don’t trust you, you’re not their leader. You’re just someone they have to report to. They need to not feel overlooked, but like you take their feelings into consideration. They trust that you give them not just the physical tools to succeed, but emotional tools as well. This comes from being empathetic.

Importance – You know they feel strongly about an issue. That’s why you close the laptop and put the phone away. You don’t take that call when they’re in your office, and lunch can wait an extra 10 minutes. Your listening skills need to be unfettered for maximum understanding. They see that this issue means as much to you as to them, so they feel important enough to the business to be taken seriously. 

Honesty – Being empathetic means you can appreciate someone’s feelings even if they might contradict your own. However, the outcome of the issue can’t be determined by those feelings. You can be nonjudgmental while still being honest. A truthful analysis of the situation is always needed, even when taking feelings into account. Even if the outcome isn’t what they’d hoped for, expressing an empathetic ear is an essential trait for a harmonious office environment.

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