Empathy is in high demand right now. Leaders who cultivate their empathy skills have more cohesive teams and engaged employees. Whether you fancy yourself an empathy expert, or need to develop your empathy skills, here are some fantastic tips on what NOT to do from the International Listening Association.
What Empathy is NOT
“Did you do what I told you to do?”
“Did you take the medicine when you were supposed to?
Judging or Guilting
“Why did you do that?”
“That doesn’t seem worth worrying about.”
Well, that was a dumb thing to do.
“I can’t believe you did that!”
“I told you this is what would happen.”
Advising or Fixing
“You shouldn’t have said that.”
“You should have taken the medicine like you were supposed to.
“Maybe you should . . .”
“Oh, well, tomorrow is a new day.”
“That’s not so bad.”
Denying or Discounting
“I can’t believe you’re upset about that.”
“Shouldn’t you just be glad that you have a job?”
One-upping or Kidnapping the Empathy
“If you think that’s bad . . .”
“You should hear what happened to me!”
“There’s a good book you should read about that.”
“I’ve got some resources that will help.”
“This seems to happen to you a lot.”
“That probably means you….”
“That’s too bad. I’m sure tomorrow things will go better.”
“It could be worse. Imagine if…”
Compassion (I added this one)
It’s true, empathy is not the same as compassion. Here’s the scoop.