Empathy at Work: Developing Skills to Understand Other People

Using Empathy Effectively

To start using empathy more effectively, consider the following:

Put aside your viewpoint, and try to see things from the other person’s point of view.
When you do this, you’ll realize that other people most likely aren’t being evil, unkind, stubborn, or unreasonable – they’re probably just reacting to the situation with the knowledge they have.

Validate the other person’s perspective.
Once you “see” why others believe what they believe, acknowledge it. Remember: acknowledgement does not always equal agreement. You can accept that people have different opinions from your own, and that they may have good reason to hold those opinions.

Examine your attitude.
Are you more concerned with getting your way, winning, or being right? Or, is your priority to find a solution, build relationships, and accept others? Without an open mind and attitude, you probably won’t have enough room for empathy.

Listen.