Personal Improvement Month: Take Control of Your Empathy

Personal Improvement Month: Take Control of Your Empathy

Empathy involves recognizing others’ emotions, seeking to understand their perspective, and showing acceptance. Being empathetic involves thinking beyond your own concerns and learning to appreciate new things. Because empathy is an important soft skill needed to advance in your career, you want to demonstrate it whenever possible.


Listen to what others have to say. Let them finish communicating before you respond. Pay attention to what is being said and the tone being used. Watch the person’s word choice and body language. Think about how they may be feeling and whether something important is not being communicated. Summarize what you believe the person is saying. Encouragingly respond to the central message. Be ready to change course when the person’s thoughts and feelings change. Give them your full attention the entire time.

Be Authentic

Remain authentic in your interactions. Open up a bit about yourself while keeping it appropriate for the work environment. Let relationships develop naturally. Include emotional content in conversations with colleagues. Show a bit of vulnerability. Use appropriate physical contact like a hand on the arm. Notice emotional signals in others, such as a colleague’s unusual manner or mood. Comment that you noticed the person seem tired, frustrated, or another appropriate emotion. Ask if they want to talk about it.

Act Respectfully

Treating everyone in a respectful manner should go without saying. Smile as you talk. Get to know others on a personal level and let them get to know you. Talk more in depth about your common interests. Others will reciprocate, creating a positive, more collaborative work environment. You will build trust, enhance work engagement, and increase productivity, resulting in increased retention, employee referrals, and customer satisfaction.

Remain Patient

Stay patient while talking with others. During stressful situations, take deep breaths and focus on the issue at hand. Pause and think before responding. Calmly explain your side of things. Consider the other person’s point of view. Keep an open mind during your talk. Ensure the person feels validated and supported. Even if you do not agree, find a way to compromise.

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