Has it ever happened to you that your own happiness seemed challenging because someone who’s close to you was in distress? Maybe when you achieved your targets well in time while your colleague couldn’t? Or you have a stable relationship while your friend went through a break-up? In such situations, you may want to support such a person but may not know ‘How’. Guess what? There’s a skill that you can develop to meet them halfway and say –
I know how it feels
It’s ‘empathy’ – an ability to understand others’ emotions by feeling with them rather than feeling sorry for them and that’s not all. Research says that empathy is a great way to build stronger relationships and also promotes good health and lowers stress. With a motive to ‘build a fairer, healthier world’, we thought why not create a safe space where ‘Every feeling counts’? Here’s how:
1. The Art of Now
The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. Experts say that it’s impossible to truly engage with someone else when we’re full of our own thoughts. A mind-hack you can try is creating an empty basket in your mind and preserving each thought from the opposite person in it, without filtering it through your own opinions.
2. The Art of Active Listening
We may believe that we’re good listeners, but listening is more than waiting for our turn to speak. Active listening involves reflecting – “What you’re saying is”, Affirming – “I see”, and encouraging – “And then?” As per studies, this allows others to listen to themselves more carefully and pay attention to their thoughts and feelings.
3. The Art of Asking Questions
Research says that asking open-ended questions while someone is sharing concerns, is a powerful tool that deepens the conversation and uncovers hidden reasoning. If someone is sharing how they are sad about a failure, try saying “I can imagine how hard that must have been. What do you make of it?”. This shows that you care about their experience.
4. The Art of Perspective-Taking
Studies say that when we put ourselves in other’s shoes, it broadens our self-perspective, reduces stress, and builds trust. So try to feel what it’s like to be someone else and feel it yourself. For eg. If you meet someone with financial issues, you may think about the things you have that they can’t afford.
Are you looking to build High Performing Resilient Organisations? We can help. Feel free to get in touch for assistance in building a culture of positivity and high performance.