What is Empathy?

Critical for on-the-job success and an important part of strong leadership is empathy. Core to empathy is active listening. Demonstrating empathy means being open to challenging your own prejudices in order to find common ground with another person. When you are curious about other people and you show an interest in them, their world, their perspective, their experiences, you will begin to feel more connected to another person. Reciprocally, the other person will feel heard and understood. Empathy is deeper than simple sympathy — it includes appreciating and understanding the emotions of another person.  Meryl Streep said, “the great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy, we can all sense a mysterious connection to each other.” That is what empathy is all about, opening up the world around you by understanding the perspective of others. With empathy, you foster trust, build strong relationships and ultimately boost creativity and job performance.