How to Improve Your Empathic Listening Skills
Empathy is the ability to understand and feel the emotions of others and is often expressed as deep understanding, sympathy, and caring. It is an essential skill in many different spheres of life, from relationships to work to politics.
Many people think that it can only be learned through experience, but the truth is that you can improve your empathy skills by following a few simple steps. Here are three tips to help you develop better empathy:
1. Use empathy sparingly
If you try to use empathy too much, you will likely lose the ability to feel others’ emotions. When listening and trying to understand someone else’s thoughts, feelings, and experiences, keeping your empathy in check is important. When you become overwhelmed or too focused on the person you are listening to, they may lose their ability to feel the emotions you are feeling.
2. Listen with your heart
When listening, it is important to pay attention to your listener’s emotions. Pay attention to what they are saying, and how they are saying it. Listen with your heart, and try not to focus on the words or the person you are listening to.
3. Model empathy
When trying to understand someone else’s feelings, trying to model what you would do is important. Try to do things you have experienced yourself or know have helped others feel the way you do. When you try to do this, you will likely feel more comfortable with empathy.