Empathy is the ability to understand and sympathize with another person’s situation. It means that a person can know how another person feels. Developing empathy skills is important in life for many reasons and situations ranging from the personal to the professional (including in parenting, romance, management and political action).
In order for a person to be able to understand another’s feelings and develop their empathy skills they must listen to others and be able to read certain non-verbal clues such as facial expressions, tone of voice and other behavioral markers. The benefits of this can be significant and can help improve a range of issues in life including:
• Helping a person to understand themselves and others more clearly
• Having a positive impact on work relationships
• Experiencing a more successful marriage
• Being a better parent
• Fighting social injustice
• Averting global environmental disaster