Being able to get along with people is a good skill to have in life, and especially in your career, and having empathy is something that can go a long way towards that. The ability to understand how someone feels isn’t easy, but according to research out of Harvard, it can be taught.
Harvard psychiatrist Helen Riess has identified seven skills that can help someone learn empathy and get along with anybody and all you have to do is actually remember the word “E.M.P.A.T.H.Y.” They include:
- E – Eye contact – when meeting people for the first time it’s important to maintain eye contact. Plus, having meetings face to face as much as possible is a bonus.
- M - Muscles for facial expression – muscles in the face don’t often lie, so it’s always good to pay attention.
- P – Posture – Sitting up tall can suggest happiness and confidence, as well as respect and authority.
- A – Affect – This has to do with emotions. It’s important to pay attention to someone’s emotions in order to communicate with them effectively.
- T – Tone of Voice – How you say something can show emotion, and soothing tones can result in better outcomes.
- H – Hearing the Whole Person – Really listening to someone is important. Try not to interrupt them when they are in the middle of an important conversation or argument. And don’t try to match a person’s emotion by raising yours.
- Y - Your Response - Your state of mind could easily rub off on other people, so pay attention to how you feel, because it could affect how others are feeling.