By | Silvia Castrogiovanni | Elena Pattini | www.weforum.org
Empathy – the ability to detect and understand other people’s feelings – can be improved through training and practice.
In a professional context, improving empathy can reduce stress, build more positive relationships, and even boost revenues.
Here’s how leaders and managers can start to build more empathic environments at work.
Empathy, defined as the ability to detect other people’s feelings, constitutes the basis for quality human relationships; however, it is often a capacity we are unable to exploit, mostly due to cultural constraints. This holds true in different social contexts, from personal to professional. However, our empathic capacities can be recruited and trained through constant practice, and become great resources for genuine and productive relationships.
Empathy, in fact, represents the antithesis of individualism, of abuse of power, and of disconnection among human beings – and these are the pillars of stressful environments filled with tension and social conflict.
Active listening with suspended judgment, attitude to observation, and conscious choice of the most appropriate verbal and non-verbal language are just some of the key ingredients of empathic relationships that comply with the values of authenticity and closeness.