By Sherrie Campbell
If we want to succeed in life or in business, we cannot do this with any depth or longevity if we’re not empathic. Empathy is what gives life meaning. It allows us to be open, and to tolerate points of view that differ greatly from our own. When we are empathic towards others, we are better equipped to understand, soothe, communicate, bond and develop long-lasting successful connections. At its base, success is a function of trusting, dependable and dynamic relationships.
1. They recognize feelings.
Empathic people can identify and recognize both the emotions of others and the emotions they grapple with inside of themselves. Compassion for others develops from the self-compassion empathic people practice on themselves in their private lives. They believe that to succeed on any level, they have to show empathy for the people they are working with. They are naturally sensitive to the fact that life is hard, business is tough and everyone is at risk of getting down on themselves.
Empathic people don’t forget about the humanity of others. They take the time to recognize if someone is feeling up or down, then take the opportunity to support them from where they are.
2. They have an ethical identity.
Empathic people live their lives by a compass of integrity. An ethical identity intersects with each decision empathic people make throughout their lives. Empathy motivates them to live by their morals determining what is right and wrong. They are conscious of who they are, of what they do, what they say and how it all may impact and influence those around them. Respect for themselves and others helps them keep their enduring commitment to live a fulfilling lifestyle.
Empathic people hold themselves to high standards of kindness, tolerance, respect, service and good communication. These traits set them apart when it comes to success and longevity. Their humble morality inspires others to live better in their own lives. Because empathic people strive to have a positive influence, they naturally become people others look up to and admire.
3. They always consider the needs of others.
Empathic people have dynamic working relationships because they always consider the needs of each person they work with. They are open to what is different. Their definition of tolerance is “even though your belief is not mine I accept it and we can still connect.”
Success cannot flourish under a my-way-or-the-highway mindset. Intolerance blocks learning, kills empathy and breaks down connections.
4. They have a moral intention.
When people operate from a place of empathy they pursue goals which others find inspiring. The intention behind every goal an empathic person pursues is to serve others. In this construct, success is measured more by the development of a person’s character, rather than status, position or money earned. Empathic people approach deals, conflicts, negotiations and communications confident solutions will arise from right action, honesty, integrity and thoughfulness.
Even in the midst of a chaotic experience, positive intention allows empathic people to intuitively and correctly perceive what actions are necessary.
5. They’re calm.
Empathic people can accept feedback without getting defensive. They help others to remain calm by remaining calm and rational under stressful circumstances. Their example inspires others to work toward the same levels of openness and maturity when they are pressured or stressed. Empathic people can be an anchors for those who are struggling with the reactive emotions stress brings. They live with an inherent trust that solutions can and will be found, and that worrying about things doesn’t make those solutions come any quicker. Being grounded in this way, benefits everyone around them.
6. They’re kind.
Kindness is empathy in action. Empathic people trust that kindness will get them further in life than other human character trait. Everything can be solved with kindness. People destroy relationships when they try to solve problems with anger, threats or force. They may get their way once or twice but they inevitably lose opportunities because they are not enjoyable to work with or for.
Being kind doesn’t mean empathic people are pushovers. Empathic people can be assertive and direct while still respecting the person who is on the receiving end of the dynamic with them.
7. They are always thinking “us.”
An empathic person will own their part of the problem when something goes wrong in the daily grind. They do what they can to keep their side of the street clean instead of reactively blaming their problems on people or circumstances outside of themselves. If they cannot see where they contributed to the problem, they ask for feedback to help them to more clearly understand the part they played. Staying away from blame and emotional reactivity guarantees successful communication and customer satisfaction going forward.
8. They take risks for the team.
A coward will only cover for or take a risk for themselves. Empathic individuals value character over ego. Empathetic people who work together are so bonded that they have no problem sticking their necks out for whomever they believe in. Taking risks for their team is an integral part of being in a dependable and trusting relationship and work environment. When empathy is present no one person is ever allowed to take on the full responsibility for a problem. Empathic people put other people first and make sure to come to their defense whenever necessary. No one they care about is left alone.
9. They have a strong desire to make a difference.
Empathic people are privy to the understanding that selfishness and success cannot coexist. Eventually selfishness will bring about failure. When people are team oriented, they seek not just to lift themselves up, but to lift all of those who surround them. The greatest gift an empathic person can experience, is to bear witness to the positive results their hard work and good character produce. They live to see others feel satisfied on the other side of them, whether that be financially, emotionally or both. Empathic people live not for fame or riches, but to make a difference.