Be sympathetic to other people’s misfortunes and congratulate their positive landmarks. To do this you need to be aware of what is going on in other people’s lives. Make and maintain eye contact and use first names where appropriate. Do not be afraid to ask others for their opinions as this will help to make them feel valued.
Consider the emotional effect of what you are saying and communicate within the norms of behaviour acceptable to the other person.
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Empathy is trying to see things from the point-of-view of others. When communicating with others, try not to be judgemental or biased by preconceived ideas or beliefs – instead view situations and responses from the other person’s perspective. Stay in tune with your own emotions to help enable you to understand the emotions of others.
If appropriate, offer your personal viewpoint clearly and honestly to avoid confusion. Bear in mind that some subjects might be taboo or too emotionally stressful for others to discuss.
Offer words and actions of encouragement, as well as praise, to others. Make other people feel welcome, wanted, valued and appreciated in your communications. If you let others know that they are valued, they are much more likely to give you their best. Try to ensure that everyone involved in an interaction or communication is included through effective body language and the use of open questions.
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