Do you know what empathy is? Empathy is caring for people, not by the words from their mouth; but by the way we are wired to do so.

Pay attention
We often forget that the relationship we have with other people is the talking going on, and when the talking is done, the relationship is done. If youre not paying attention to all the emotions surfacing during the talk, a few will be scary, but talking about it is hell of a lot better than doing nothing at all. You must understand that negative emotions will be a part of our lives not matter what, theyll manifest and show up at inappropriate times. From a business point of view, youll have to talk to people. Try asking associates how things are going as much as asking what theyre doing. You must mean it. Listen carefully to the answers. Make sure you make eye contact in everything you do, not just the times when you feel it needs to be done.

Listen
Empathy starts by listening to others. Put your cell away, turn off the television and listen to people. Look right at them. Watch for slight twitches in their facial reactions. See if the talking matches the reaction. If you say Where have you been? and they timidly say, I got lost. They could be lying. Thats when you dig deeper, and at this point you pick apart their mind, saving you time in the future. You'll discover that theyre not lying, but theyre not telling the truth either. Empathy will show you trust and proper understanding.

Pursue
Lets use the sample above and pursue it even further with loads of questions and mind hacks. After the other person replies with their answer youll say, It sounds like you had a fun time. And watch for their facial reactions while listening very attentively. Ask more questions that brings out their true emotions. Remember, its all about the other person and what theyre feeling. Check out these examples after hearing a response:
  • You dont sound like you got lost.
  • You seem excited about getting lost.
  • It seems like its not a problem for you.
The point is to listen for the hidden meanings. There will be times when you feel more empathic than your actual attention, but stay focused. Even if you believe the emotions in another way, the other person responding will try to correct you, going off into an elaborate response. Now you have the upper hand. Go back to paying attention and carefully break down their explanation even further.

I know you wont get it at first if youre not using it already. Itll feel weird when you focus in on the conversation, but you must pay attention like a blind man. What you get out of it is the ability to know people for what theyre worth. Remember, theres no I in empathy