Empathy is the skill to understand the emotions of people and to treat them according to their emotional reaction. This skill is closely linked with the emotional intelligence which is basically analyzing, assessing and managing the emotion of oneself and others. So by developing and practicing this skill not only you resolve someone’s problems but also win their hearts.
Before you take the deep dive of empathic and Emotional Intelligence concepts, you must understand that human psychology is complex in its nature. Every soul on earth is unique; its uniqueness is dependent on several social, personal, financial and familial and circumstantial factors. Hence in order to understand the emotions of someone the above mentioned baselines have to be remembered all the times because this will prevent you imposing your personal thoughts and conclusion on someone for any given situation and hence helps you understand their unique perspective.
Now that you have concrete understanding on above concept, learn below techniques to build and enhance your empathic skills:
* Put yourself in their shoes. Involve yourself deeply in the situation in which the person is trapped. Try to evaluate/quantify the level of stress the person is in. Ask questions to understand more but remember not to bombard the person with so many questions as you might cause more stress adding fuel to the fire. Learn the concept “Seek First to understand then to be understood” by Stephen R covey
* Develop Stong Observatory Skills: Observing behaviors is the most important expertise while developing empathic skills. During the conversations try to read the person’s mind however avoid instant judgment and conclusion. Be fair and slow in judging people. Avoid being reactive or explosive. Constantly observe the person during your conversation and try to find the most important ‘point of concern’ which matters the most to the person. This will help understand the problem deeply and might also help you reaching the root of the issue.
* Develop Analytical Skills: Analysis means to consider the situation from different angles and reaching to the root of the problem. This involves considering financial, technical, emotional, professional, logical and mental aspects of the situation. Also sometimes analytical skills require you to breakdown the given problem into smaller problems and then focus on the solution to each problem separately.
* Handling the situation: Think what would you and how would you do if trapped in such tragic situation. Think if the person can follow the same methodology to fix the problem? Remember, every soul is unique so you must examine it according to the nature of the person and the circumstance the person is in. For example, you would handle a rich person trapped in the debt differently as compared to a poor person and differently for educated and less educated persons.
* Effective Communication: Nearly all other skills are dependent on your Effective Communication skills. No matter how genius you are, you won’t add value if you fail to express yourself properly and effectively. You can read my article on how to improve your Communication skills.
* Follow up: Don’t leave the person alone once you have helped by either giving advice or by fixing the problem. Follow up after adequate amount of time as the situation might have aroused again.