What is Empathy?

At this post, we’re going to talk about a fundamental issue in leadership. That is, empathy helps prevent harassment and encourages building relationships to succeed professionally. It promotes the growth of leaders, entrepreneurs and managers. Empathic people tend to be more successful because they ignore peers narcissistic behaviour and are only oriented towards their goals.

Empathy marks the difference between any two human beings. Also, between two leaders, one who is effective, and one that isn’t. Traditionally, empathy refers to the capacity we have to put ourselves in another’s shoes. Through analysis, we can see that it is something more complex.

Empathy has been defined as one of the capacities that form the basis of modern leadership.

The more the world is technologized, the more the need arises in companies to be led by people who are considered emotionally capable.  As people, one of the things that distinguishes us from machines is what makes us ready to develop our competitiveness.

The ultimate enemy of empathy is the ego. The person with least empathy is the most self-centred, because they only think and talk about themselves. This can go so far as the dramatic extremes of a psychopath. A psychopath is someone who has zero empathy. They don’t even consider that they are hurting the other person.

Empathy is a difficult skill to acquire. It requires a lot of practice and real self-interest, but there is no doubt that it is the basis of good communication and modern leadership: it enables us to inspire and persuade others, as well as to create quality interpersonal relationships.

Stronger leadership skills

Showing real interest in the truth evident to another is the key to creating quality relationships and bonds. Being interested in others, opening up to understand how the other person sees the world, doing our best to try to understand it even if we don’t agree with it. Understanding other people’s attitudes, feelings, actions, hopes, fears, and desires and responding appropriately to them.

To be empathetic, it is necessary to dedicate time to people, to team members, to other collaborators, to listen to them attentively and to engage in dialogue. This dedication of time can be in meetings as well as in casual conversations in any meeting place: keeping up with the lives of people with whom we have a regular relationship creates very effective work bonds. With empathy you can really understand the other person and therefore build bridges to create solid relationships and find solutions to possible conflicts.

For a company, establishing and fostering empathetic working relationships is a way of attracting and retaining talent (employees still want to work with us) and, of distinguishing humanized companies from the advance of automated work.

These are the three key steps that characterize an empathic relationship:

  1. Listen and ask questions with real interest and with an open mind, free from prejudice, to what the other person is Listen in silence, to whatever the other party wants to say and without interrupting. Avoid giving advice.
  2. Ask about what we have not understood, we should not be left with any doubts. Confirm from time to time what the other person has just said: showing that we are attentive. Try to ask if what we have perceived is what they wanted to transmit to us. Also, to see the situation together from various sides.
  3. Make a short summary by way of conclusion of what has been heard to confirm that it has been well understood. It is also a good time to recognize a skill or quality in the other.

Empathy for customers

The corporate culture of empathy is paramount in dealing with customers. Here it is necessary, more than ever to train employees, so that they are able to always take the customer into account in everything they do and to offer the best possible experience.

  • All company personnel should know the type of customer and have access to market research, interviews, call centre recordings, store visits, complaint sharing and how they behave on social networks
  • To offer practical training, to show how not to behave and how to behave with empathy in real life situations. Redesigning new customer service protocols based on training.
  • Create corporate habits that give real presence to the client such as a “client chair” in meetings, visualizations of specific clients in the development of projects, build empathy maps that can help learn about clients in depth.

In other words, make empathy one of the key values in decision-making. That’s how relevant it is.

Egoism vs. Assertiveness

When compared with an egoist, an assertive person chooses to decide who to help and who not to help, without falling victim to the ruinous differences. They do not feel obliged by law but act out of conviction.

Literal definition of egoism: Excessive love for oneself that makes one pay excessive attention to one’s own interests.

The egocentric subject thinks “I am the centre of the universe”, and inevitably, leaves others out, which is not the case with the assertive subject: he attends to his own interest without forgetting the interest of others”. The assertive subject does not recognize himself as better than the other, “I am better than you”, but “I am at least equal to you”.

To sum up and finish here. In leadership, having empathy is what shows that we are not enemies. You can follow and accompany me because I will not hurt you.

  • All company personnel should understand the type of customer via access to market research, interviews, call centre recordings, store visits, complaint sharing and how they behave on social networks. (post-recording edit?)

 

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