If you’ve been pondering how to go about expressing empathy and compassion for your colleagues, you’re not alone. In fact, according to research, employees are making a growing priority of developing empathy and compassion for each other. While it is important to express your emotions to others, it’s crucial to know how to do it in a manner that doesn’t overwhelm them, and that allows you to maintain a positive professional relationship.
Compassion vs empathy
When it comes to compassion and empathy, some people get confused and make the mistake of assuming that one is a substitute for the other. While both are important, they do have some key differences. For example, empathy is an interactive experience, whereas compassion is a practice.
Compassion, by definition, is the capacity to understand and offer assistance to someone who is suffering. This is achieved by entering another person’s experience and understanding their emotions. The more you practice this skill, the more you will develop it.
Compassion is also the act of showing understanding and empathy, even when it is not appropriate. For instance, it may be necessary to acknowledge a friend’s feelings when they are going through a hard time. If a client can show some compassion while working through a difficult situation, the relationship may improve.
While the old adage about empathy is true, it doesn’t mean that it is always easy. Some people, particularly those who are sensitive to others’ emotions, are more adept at this than others.
Communication is the means for building empathy
Empathy is the ability to understand the emotional state of another person. The emotional connections we make with others have a huge impact on human decision making.
People with empathy can be a big help during times of crisis. They can help you feel better and encourage you to do things that will benefit the other person. Increasing empathy will also improve your relationships.
There are many ways to increase your level of empathy. One of the best ways is to practice. Try to meet new people. You may find that you have much in common with them.
Another way to grow your level of empathy is to practice your listening skills. Being mindful of what’s being said will allow you to stay in the moment. If you react to what you think, you can miss out on a lot of the information being communicated.
In order to develop empathy, you need to start by recognizing and overcoming your own biases. For example, you may be biased against helping people.
Empathy is a growing priority for employees
Empathy for business is a growing priority for employees and leaders alike. One survey found that 68% of CEOs are empathetic, and 48% of workers share the same sentiment. However, the ability to effectively communicate isn’t always top-of-mind. In fact, a recent study by Grammarly and Harris Poll found that businesses lose as much as $1.2 trillion annually from ineffective communication.
While being able to speak effectively is a skill, you can’t ignore the importance of being able to read and understand others’ thoughts. This is especially true in a team setting where empathy is key to effective communication.
Getting your team to the point of empathy is a balancing act. There are a variety of tools available to help. You can use a software suite like Grammarly or invest in a resource-rich tool such as the Radical Candor Framework, which offers a wealth of advice on adding empathy to your daily interactions.