The Lost Art of Empathy

Written by Suze, October 09th, 2013

empathyEmpathy is not compassion, it is not sympathy, and it is not caring:  Although each of these important human feelings may be born from the art of empathy.

Empathy is the ability to understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions.

Empathy is an essential element to satisfactory relationships, so if you want to build a relationship-based real estate business, brushing up on your empathy skills is important.

Empathy is critical to complex sales situations. People make decisions based on their experiences and their emotions, not ours and not on what we believe theirs ought to be.  Empathy is not simple. But empathy is key to being a successful real estate sales person.

True empathy seems to be disappearing from our society faster than the Arctic sea ice.  There are likely many factors contributing to this, however these top the list:

  • Digital communication
  • Social acceptance through  pop culture (TV, video’s, music)
  • Misunderstanding of its meaning
  • Changes in teaching methods for young children
  • Time challenges
  • Scarcity of resources
  • Shortening of attention spans

My experience is that people still care deeply and often feel compassion and sympathy, but we are losing the ability to feel empathy.  Perhaps we simply lack the skills and understanding required to consistently be empathetic.

There is some disagreement within the philosophy circles about whether empathy is about feeling the feelings of others or accurately observing the feelings of others.  It is an interesting paradox, but either way, learning the art of empathy is important for any sales based business.

To improve your empathy skills, begin by accepting that the way you see the world is not the same way others see it.  Let go of your need to be right and develop a mindset of curiosity. Learn to listen and hear, to ask powerful questions, and to appreciate people for who they truly are and what they truly feel.

Embrace the art of empathy and you will likely experience a significant shift in your ability to attract high quality clients.

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