The word “Empathy” in plain English means “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another”
Additional research by renowned psychologists Daniel Goleman and Paul Ekman have identified three components of Empathy:
Cognitve: simply knowing how the other person feels and what they might be thinking, also referred as Perspective Thinking
Emotional: when the emotions of other are deeply felt, have an impact on you – physically and mentally – as a contagious reaction
Compassionate: when cognitive and emotional understanding is combined with actions to help
No Leader can solve or help in every situation but every Leader can demonstrate Empathy by listening and understanding the context This first step creates the foundation of a trusted connection – the feeling of being heard
15 minutes of empathetic listening, sharing examples from personal life and acceptance of the situation creates a shared understanding and bond that hours of coaching and mentoring can struggle with.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” – Leo Buscaglia, Motivational Speaker & Writer
Empathy creates the space for a dialogue helping people to uncover new/creative directions or solutions to challenge themselves. Coaching/Mentoring is “telling” showing the way with an underlying assumption that the Coache’s/Mentor’s way is the tried and tested right way.
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