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In part two of this article, Margot Katz shows how developing empathy will transform your communication skills.
Lack of Emotional Intelligence generally, and the empathy part of it specifically, wastes time, erodes productivity and increases hurt and frustration; it closes people down and diminishes them in some way. And that impacts business results.
Here are to reflect on and to help you to clarify your own levels of emotional intelligence:
It’s a crude indicator, but the more you scored ‘often’, the higher your EQ and empathy levels are likely to be. Another way to find out is to be brave and ask someone else to answer the same questions about you and then compare the ratings. By the way, asking for feedback is an emotionally intelligent thing to do; it shows you’re building self-awareness and helps to build trust.
When communicating with others:
Remembering not to have a personality transplant, following these simple basics will have an enormous impact on the effectiveness of your communication with others. Until they become habit, prepare in advance.
Don’t just listen but really listen.
The Chinese explain what I mean perfectly. The word for listen in Chinese incorporates listening with the whole of you - ears, eyes, heart and undivided attention.
We need to stop listening to our own self-talk and start tuning into what others are saying and what they’re not saying; noticing what they’re saying with their body language as well as with their words. And being interested!
s….Go out and talk to people and don’t be reticent about letting people know what you are looking for.
If it’s true that we behave in accordance with our beliefs, then it follows that if we change our beliefs we may change our behaviour. In the context of empathy, here’s an exercise to flex your thinking about other people and help you understand them better.
Select one of the beliefs below. You don’t have to believe it to be true but if you try it on ‘as if’ it were true, then reflect on what is different:
Take on a different belief and spend one day acting as if it were true and then reflect on what you’ve learned.