Listening and Empathy
Explain: Empathy is an advanced form of listening. It happens when an individual thinks you are really listening and understand not just what they are saying but how they feel as well. His/her brain releases important chemicals (dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins) which are nature’s happy pill. They cause the brain to feel pleasure and feel close to you. That’s why sharing problems with close friends and confiding in others makes people feel better when they are feeling down.
Tell: When you listen as well as you speak, collaboration with others becomes much easier. You can persuade people to see your point of view through these healthy collaborations. Empathy enables you to feel what others are feeling. Using your empathic skills to help others feel listened to and understood offers you an opportunity to wield your influence.
Tell: Begin honing your empathy skills by observing facial expressions, tonality, and gestures or body language. Then compare what a person says to your observations to get an idea of what the person is feeling. This intense observation may cause you to have that same feeling or at least enable you to respond appropriately.
Tell: Leaders used to believe that they needed power and control, but they were wrong. Power comes from understanding relationships. Control belongs to every stakeholder. When you make others feel that they have some control over their lives and the power to make a difference, they follow your lead.
Tell: Next, we will cover some important active listening tools and habits that professional communicators know and practice.