The eighth element of emotional intelligence is empathy. Empathy is defined by the EQi 2.0 as “your ability and willingness to take notice of and be sensitive to other people’s needs and feelings.” Empathy is rooted in our caring & sensitivity, sympathy, responsiveness, and seeking to understand.
There has perhaps never been a greater need for empathy than right now as we are all experiencing this pandemic in different ways with differing levels of anxiety. It’s in our best interest to take a step back and understand that each person is entitled to have different feelings and needs related to the coronavirus. Perhaps that person on your team has a family member that is sick with coronavirus, or they are a single parent taking care of 3 kids while also having their full-time job, or they just haven’t been able to see their grandparent or parent in over 2 months – everyone is dealing with something. The more we can be empathetic with other people during this crazy time, the better off we will be as a society.
With that being said, I wanted to share three ways we can be more empathetic during coronavirus:
- Express curiosity for the way someone else is feeling – ask them what they are feeling and pay attention to their reply without judgment.
- Pay attention to non-verbal communication – eye contact, gestures, posture, and tone of voice.
- Before placing judgment, think of reasons that person may be feeling or acting a certain way.