Business Communication

What is professional empathy and why do you need it in the workplace?

June 30, 2022

Sean McKay

Professional empathy is a critical skill for team members, managers, and leaders. It’s important for understanding the perspectives of others and communicating effectively. As the workplace becomes more diverse, this trait will become even more valuable. In this blog, we look at what professional empathy is and highlight its importance.

What is professional empathy?

Professional empathy
is the ability to understand and share the feelings of someone you work with. It’s the capacity to see things from their perspective and to put yourself in their shoes. Empathy allows you to feel what others feel, even when those feelings may be difficult or painful for you. It enables you to truly understand your colleagues’ points of view and respond appropriately, which can make all the difference at work.

Why is empathy important in the workplace?

Empathy is a powerful tool that can be used to improve communication, build rapport, and strengthen relationships with others. It’s important at work because it helps you understand those around you better, communicate with them more effectively, and build trust as a team. It also allows you to be a better leader and collaborator. Whether you work in an office or are out in the field, it’s important to understand how others are feeling so that you can respond appropriately.

Some other reasons why professional empathy at work is important to include:

• It increases your ability to connect with others: If people feel like they can trust you, they’ll be more comfortable sharing their ideas or concerns with you, which will make them feel valued as an employee as well as happier in their jobs overall.

• It lowers the chances of any miscommunication happening: Understanding what other people are feeling helps facilitate better communication between them, reducing the chances of any miscommunication happening that could impact project outcomes, staff morale, and productivity.

Ways to increase your professional empathy

There are a couple of ways to increase your professional empathy, including:

• Be aware of the emotions of others: Empathy is about understanding and responding to other people’s emotions, so you can’t be empathetic if you don’t notice what they’re feeling. If someone looks upset or angry, ask yourself why they might be feeling that way.

• Use the 5-second rule. The 5-second rule is a simple technique for becoming more aware of emotional cues at work. When someone says something that upsets another person in your office, stop what you’re doing and count to five before reacting. This forces you to pause long enough to gather your thoughts and it gives others time to cool down as well.

• Take an instructor-led online course: An instructor-led course can teach you some essential skills regarding professional empathy, including how to use emotional intelligence in the workplace, how to validate feelings in others, and how to understand different emotions and manage them. From a course like this, you’ll gain a greater understanding of how emotional and physical health are related and how you can put professional empathy into practice.

For more information about any of our instructor-led online courses, contact us today at Phoenix TS.

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