Ability to understand how and why others feel the way they do, and take appropriate action to assist or support them.
Advantages when Empathy is High:
Acknowledges other’s feelings easily and without judgement
Identifies the factors that affect other’s feelings accurately
Readily gives personal attention to those who need it
Provides appropriate support on time
Encourages others to approach their challenges objectively
Risks when Empathy is Overused:
Overly sensitive and overwhelmed by feelings of others
Excessively patient and gets too involved in other’s issues
Permissive of other’s outburst even though it can be destructive
Self-sacrificing and over stretches at the expense of your own needs
Inability to disassociate from others’ issues
Risks when Empathy is Low:
Unmoved by others’ circumstances
Sceptical of others’ thoughts and feelings
Tendency to ignore other’s plea for help
Avoidance emotionally challenging situations
Tendency to take control by giving quick solutions rather than help others find insights
Respond to others as a valued individual by staying focussed.
Be present, listen with understanding and avoid planning a response.
Exercise patience and tolerance when others are unsure or lost.
Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and visualize the situation as if it was happening to you. Ask yourself “What could they be feeling?”, “What could their thoughts be?”, “What kind of actions would they take?”