Habit 5 of FranklinCovey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People explains that "the deepest need of the human soul is to feel understood." Think of when you've been treated with empathy. It feels good to be understood, and it feels extraordinary when someone really "gets you."
Empathy tends to be reciprocal. When we are treated with empathy, we often respond with empathy. And showing genuine empathy to others makes us feel good, too.
The opposite of empathy is apathy, which literally means "no feeling," or not caring. It only takes a small gesture to signal apathy A bored glance or a sigh of annoyance communicates to a customer that she isn't important.
Stephen R. Covey said, "People are very tender, very sensitive inside I don't believe age or experience makes much difference. Inside, even within the most toughened and calloused exteriors, are the tender feelings and emotions of the heart." The surest way to reach an apathetic heart is empathy from us. Simply connect and listen to others.
Taking initiative in small, specific ways can help you reach your goals—for your team, your career, and your life. Download our latest guide to learn 7 ways to be more proactive - powered by The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People®.