Is empathy something you can learn? - Deepstash
Is empathy something you can learn?

Is empathy something you can learn?

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Is empathy something you can learn?

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The value of empathy at work

There is a lot of value in empathy at work. Understanding your colleagues' situations can help you work more effectively with them. Understanding customers and clients can help to provide better service.

Some people naturally consider other people’s perspectives and emotions when interacting with them, while others can be oblivious to their goals, motivations, and feelings. 

If empathy doesn’t come naturally to you, there are some ways to learn to show more empathy and make a habit of it.

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Have three questions and a statement in mind

If you want to show more empathy, you have to notice what is happening with the people around you and then incorporate it into your interactions. 

It is helpful to remember the following three questions:

  1. What does this person want? Thinking about their goals is important. The emotions people experience is directly related to how things are going for them motivationally.
  2. What situation are they in? When you understand what they are dealing with, you can better empathise with them.
  3. What are they displaying to you? Watching them closely will give you a sense of what is landing with them. 

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If empathy doesn’t come naturally to you, an effective strategy is to simulate the situation and play different roles in it. 

Empathic design makes use of this simulation. With this technique, a team uses a product or service while simulating conditions a particular kind of user might experience. This first-person perspective can lead to new insights about flaws in an existing product or service.

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Read novels

Reading transports you into the mind and situation of someone else who is likely to be different from yourself.

Experiencing their world for a while gives you insight into the variety of ways that other people’s lives and thought processes differ from your own.

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