Next week I will be doing a training on customer service for the Suquamish Tribe which only about an hour away from where I live. One of the topics I will be covering is emotional intelligence and one of the keys to having E.I. is empathy. The saying that people don’t care how much you know until they find out how much you care is really true. Even one person on your team who is not empathetic can have a major negative impact on how others view the team. The good news is that you can learn to become more empathetic.

Here is an acronym for empathy I came up with.

E is for being emotionally available. Let others you are working with including those you serve know that you are there for them. Give them the freedom to express whatever they are feeling. This will build trust and help resolve many of the conflicts you will be dealing with.

M is for missing the interactions you have with your co-workers and your customers or Tribal members. Let them know if you haven’t seen them for awhile that you miss their smile, their sense of humor and being able to work with them. They will appreciate the fact that you noticed they haven’t been around lately.

P is for present. Be present when you are dealing with someone which means giving them your full undivided attention. Listening is a skill you can definitely improve on. The more present you are the more others will feel that you are there to assist them in whatever their needs are.

A is for acceptance. In order to be empathetic you need to accept the other person or situation as it is. Rather than trying to control the situation go with the flow. This reduces your stress and helps you to be more effective.

T is for together you can bond with others. The more empathetic you are the more you will understand where others are coming from and be better able to relate to them.

H is for helpful. An empathetic person strives to be supportive of others and to provide help. If you can provide help then refer them to someone who can. You don’t say sorry that’s not in my job description.

Y is for you walk a mile in their mocassins. If you can find common ground with others and you can do this with everyone whether you know it or not you will let that person know you are doing everything you can to understand their needs or issues they may be having.

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