Connect with us

Success Advice

Empathy is a Skill: Transformative Practices Behind Connecting With Others



Image Credit: Unsplash

Empathy is a key ingredient in developing fulfilling relationships in your life. According to one study, relationship satisfaction was predicted by the perceived empathy of the other person. That means if your partner believes that you empathize with them, your partner is more likely to be satisfied with your relationship. Fortunately, empathy is a skill that can be developed and used in every area of your life. Here are some key practices that you can use to strengthen your ability to empathize with others.

Reading nonverbal communication

In a world where Zoom calls have taken over, more than ever, facial expressions make a big difference in how you communicate. When it comes to empathy development, being attuned to facial expressions and behavior is vital. Learning to read these cues allows you to understand or tap into how someone may be feeling without verbally communicating. Training yourself to pay attention to other people’s faces and body language will help increase your awareness of the situation and your relationships. However, keep in mind that reading these cues isn’t an invitation to make assumptions about what the other person is feeling. They simply give you the opportunity to open a dialog about what the other person could be experiencing.

For example, if you’re at work and you see a colleague talking fast, staring at their screen without moving, or notice their fingers twitching, there’s a good chance that they’re experiencing some kind of stress. Recognizing this allows you to step in and help in some way. 

Another great example is asking kids how their day went when they’ve finished school. If you don’t look at their nonverbal communication and only listen to what they say, then you can miss the opportunity for a real conversation. Whether a child has a good day or a bad day, they’re likely to tell you everything was fine or okay. By paying attention to their nonverbal communication, you can ask yourself how to best support them and learn more about what’s going on in their lives to deepen your bond with them. For example, are they looking down at the ground when they are talking to you and you can sense that they aren’t feeling great about something? This idea also applies to significant others. 

To implement this into your life, make a habit of looking at the faces of the people you’re talking to and reading their body language. Practice reading a room when you walk into it. The more you stay present with whomever you’re interacting with, the more your empathetic skills will develop. This will help you in all areas of your life, including first time interactions with people. 

“Empathy is simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of you’re not alone.” – Brene Brown

Exchanging nonverbal communication

Recognizing nonverbal communication is vital. It’s just as important to intentionally communicate your empathy for others nonverbally. The look on your face, the way you nod your head, and the way you reach out to touch someone all convey whether you’re understanding them or not. To be clear, these ways of non-verbally communicating all need to be done with genuine interest or concern. This matters in all aspects of your life. 

The primary way to practice this form of empathy is to be present with the people around you. When you’re in conversation with someone, pay attention to them instead of trying to split your focus between screens and tasks. If you cannot give the other person the attention they need, let them know that you’ll speak with them later so that you can be fully present for the conversation. Here’s why that’s important. 

Have you ever had a conversation with someone where you were being vulnerable and all of a sudden they started laughing or got a surprised face that didn’t align with what you were saying? Then when you asked what their face was about, the answer was that they got a message or saw something on their phone. The message communicated in that exchange is that their distraction was more important than your emotion or what you needed to communicate. If you’re already being vulnerable, that can be hurtful. It’s important to make an effort to put your phone down where it won’t be a distraction.

When you’re more present for conversations, you’re able to spot problems and solutions faster, you bring more connectedness to the relationship, and you build more trust with others. This also helps you to become someone that other people respect and follow, while helping you de-escalate problems before they get out of hand. 

Empathizing through stories

Studies have shown that reading fiction makes people more attuned to the emotions of others. This is likely because when you read, it activates your imagination and emotions at the same time. You experience an imaginary world with all of your senses, which gives you the opportunity to step into the emotions of the characters. This is great practice for tapping deeper into a dialogue that people have with you, especially since people tell all kinds of stories about their lives. Whether someone is trying to entertain you with a funny story from their past, connect with you by sharing a vulnerable truth, or trying to teach you something important using analogies, being able to connect with what someone is telling you helps to strengthen your capacity for empathy.

“Empathy is the ability to step outside of your own bubble and into the bubbles of other people.” – C. Joybell

Staying present fosters empathy and connection

Sometimes, applying mindfulness breathing exercises before you walk into a situation can help you to be completely present and deepen your ability to empathize. Focusing on your breath enables you to be here and now. It is a great way to transition from one activity to another especially walking into important conversations or meetings. Fostering your ability to relate on a deeper level can become your most valuable skill in connecting, bridging and actualizing in your relationships with people.

Kellee Marlow is an Impact Entrepreneur, Business Strategist, Empowerment Accelerator, and Motivational Speaker. She built her career by embracing disruption and identifying innovative concepts and technologies that challenged companies and people to think differently. After 20+ years of business experience in different roles and industries, Kellee has created a catalyst mindset that is science-proven, focused on empowerment, innovation, and inspiration that guides people to successfully realize their entrepreneurial or personal goals. She is the founder and host of Spark, on KXSF.FM and 8+ online platforms that stream world-wide. Kellee created the Spark platform to inform, inspire, and ignite her audience by pinpointing the underlying value of the expertise from change-makers in psychology, wellness, business, and innovation. She tackles topics including the future impact of artificial intelligence and cryptocurrency; career reinvention and self-empowerment tools like empathy, gratitude, and social fluency.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Success Advice

Mastering Self-Management for Success: Lessons From Peter F. Drucker

With careers no longer following a straight, predictable path, self-awareness and adaptability are essential for success.



Peter f drucker lessons
Image Credit: Midjourney

In today’s dynamic professional world, self-management has become increasingly important. With careers no longer following a straight, predictable path, self-awareness and adaptability are essential for success. (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

How to Ignite the Spark Within for Future Success

All of us come to this world with our own reserve of magic unfortunately, not everyone can unleash it



Igniting your spark
Image Credit: Midjourney

What is it that makes some people great leaders while others remain followers? What magic do they have that others don’t? What special blessing gives them the power to bring significant change?  (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

How Your Beliefs Can Supercharge or Sabotage Your Success

Your life is dictated by beliefs and biases that drive your thinking, behaviors, and decisions



Your Beliefs Can Supercharge or Sabotage Your Success (1)
Image Credit: Midjourney

Pause for a moment and ponder two pandemic-era beliefs: First, closing schools will control the spread of a serious virus. Second, the consequences of such school closures—particularly social interruption and the prevention of immunity—are worse than becoming sick with the virus. (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

How to Break the Cycles of Mediocrity and Manifest Your Greatness

There is no greatness without becoming and there is no becoming with authenticity



Image Credit: Midjourney

In just a few weeks, we will be wrapping up 2023. Can you believe it? This year has been absolutely incredible for me.

I have seen amazing doors opened, new relationships formed and I am seeing dreams realized in my life. While this seems like the hallmarks of a great year, this has also been the most challenging year of my life. With all of the change happening in my life, I have been forced out of my comfort zone and challenged to grow in every area of my life.

I can truly say that I have made the most of my moments this year and I have used everything as a catalyst for maximizing my greatest potential.

As a revolutionary leader, I have the pleasure of consulting and advising leaders around the world to fulfill purpose, realize their greatest potential and make an impact.

I want to share some insights with you that will help you to break cycles of mediocrity and manifest your greatness

Everything legal must come through the matrix

I am sure that some of you are wondering why I am using the term matrix. However, what you have to understand is that I am trying to make a highly complex spiritual principle practical to understand.

Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, every life has an origin and I believe that origin is divine and begins with eternity. You are birthed from eternity and into time to fulfill a unique purpose and assignment in your lifetime and generation.

The matrix is simply the portal or vehicle that brings something out of the invisible realm and into tangible form. The problem with much of the teaching today is that it excludes the matrix. We are told to believe that success is instantaneous and overnight.

Nobody talks about how a dream progresses through stages beginning with visualization and ultimately culminating in manifestation. Without a matrix or portal then everything that you attempt to birth and build will be illegal.

The matrix not only makes you legal but it gives you the authority and power to function as the greatest expression of who you were created to be. 

Every matrix has an incubation process

While many people admire and respect me today, I remember a time when nobody knew who I was or the significance of my message. How did I get to where I am today? I got here through an incubation process.

In other words, everything that has been destined for your life is incubating and awaiting a set time of manifestation. The problem is that most people live their entire lives idle and never initiate the incubation process.

What do I meany by that? Most people are living reckless and very few people are living intentionally. I am amazed at the number of people I have conversations with that have no vision, goals or strategies for their lives. They show great promise and they have undeniable potential.

However, without development they will die with their dreams still in them.

Everything that has been destined for your life must be incubated and converted to become realities born to time. 

“Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blueprint and begin to build.” – Robert Collier

You must give expression to that which is not yet born to time

When you think about a matrix or a prophetic incubation process, you have to understand that potential is often unrealized and untapped. In other words, your potential is in raw form and your potential cannot serve you as long as it is untapped.

The thing that makes me valuable is that I have the ability to convert potential into power. I have done it in my own life and I have empowered leaders around the world to do the same. How do you convert potential into power?

First, it is important to note that you have to perceive potential. If you cannot perceive your potential then you can never cultivate your potential. In addition, you must take the time to cultivate your potential. We often get excited about our capabilities; however, we never expand our capacity in order to realize our greatest potential.

In other words, the strength of your potential is only discovered through your willingness to stretch. The more we are challenged the more we are empowered to expand our capacity for greatness. Most of all, you must begin to express your potential. The expression of potential is different for every person.

For example, the expression of my potential is best demonstrated through the thoughts, ideas, products, services, books, etc.

For another person the expression of potential may look like a screenplay, artwork, sports, scientific discoveries, medical breakthroughs, etc.

Regardless of the form of expression, I know that you will live empty and unfulfilled until you make the decision to express your potential. The expression of your potential gives voice to your dreams, life to your vision, significance to your moments and activates your true power.

You must manifest your greatness

As a revolutionary thinker and leader, my work has impacted people around the world. I am grateful that my life is a source of empowerment to so many people. However, before anyone could ever benefit from my life, I had to make a non-negotiable decision to become who I was born to be.

I wish I could tell you that this journey is easy and that you will get there overnight. However, in a world that celebrates us for doing we are often criticized for being. As a result, I wasted a lot of time trying to be who other people wanted me to be instead of being who I was born to be.

There is no greatness without becoming and there is no becoming with authenticity. It is through our bravery to be vulnerable that we ultimately manifest our greatness. We do not bless the world by being a duplicate. We bless the world when we honor our difference. When you honor your difference you honor your potential.

Ultimately, your difference is how you manifest your greatness.

When you present anything but your authentic self to the world, you are playing small and you are robbing the world of your significance. Manifesting your greatness requires you to master your gifts.

Continue Reading