How empathic are you and why it matters

by | Jul 12, 2020 | Business, General, Strengths

Believe it or not, having empathy and being an empath is slightly different and are not to be confused with sympathy.  I was reminded of one way you can do a quick check of your level of empathy on an episode of the TV series Bull earlier this year; he simply yawned and looked at what happened.

We’ve all been there; what do you do when someone yawns? …

People that are empaths or empathetic tend to automatically start yawning. Why does this matter?

First, you’d know, if you didn’t already, that other people’s behaviors affect you; secondly, you could ask yourself how you can use this awareness to connect and speak to your prospects and existing customers’ needs.

Also, when you’re an empath, you often think that all thoughts, feelings, and emotions are yours. When you take on other people’s feelings as yours, it doesn’t matter where they are, if you know them or not.

It can be a painful experience when you don’t have the tools or awareness of it, and it includes animals and nature too. The movie Avatar illustrated what an empath being can look like.

Maybe you’re an emotional person or go the opposite way and do whatever you can to avoid feeling by stuffing yourself full, drinking, etc., and going down a reactive path that ultimately doesn’t create what you desire. Before you do, simply take 5-10 deep breaths to start with and listen to THIS 2-minute clip.

When you know whether the thoughts & feelings are yours or not, you can let go of any distractions and take different actions. With your heart and mind freed up, you can help from a more neutral space which can be a relief as an empath.

One tool I found works great is simply tuning into the energy. Imagine tuning in to how it feels in your body when you’re stoked and happy. Next, how do you feel in your body when life is heading downhill, and you do nothing to course, correct?

What if you made choices at the moment where you listened to your body’s guidance towards what’s actually fun vs. not? One moment at a time.

So what does this have to do with sales?

When you’re in tune with other people’s conversations tend to flow, there’s no push, you know when it’s time to pitch, and you may present an opportunity in a more relaxed manner rather than a rehearsed push.

When a prospect feels heard and not pushed, especially if they’re empaths, a true choice can be made, and if it’s a product of interest, a yes is more likely, not a coerced decision that could lead to a return down the line.. Few people like being sold on someone else’s agenda.

Whether you have this talent yourself or are interacting with someone that does, consider tuning into other people’s needs, asking questions, and focusing on solving that problem, if your prospect desires that, as an option and see if that brings you more success in closing or not.

The definition as far as CliftonStrengths® for Empathy is:

“People exceptionally talented in the Empathy theme can sense other people’s feelings by imagining themselves in others’ lives or situations.”

Compared to the dictionary definition of empathy and empath:

Definition of empathy
1: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner also : the capacity for this
2: the imaginative projection of a subjective state into an object so that the object appears to be infused with it
Definition of empath
: one who experiences the emotions of others : a person who has empathy for others

As you can see, the definition of being an empath vs. having empathy varies slightly. If you consider yourself to be an empath, look where the CliftonStrengths® theme of Empathy® ranks in your talent lineup. Is it in your top 12?

Gallup has excellent resources on all talent themes, and you can view their Theme Thursday broadcasts on Empathy HERE or read a short blog I wrote on CliftonStrengths® Empathy® here.

The point of all this is that having empathy or being an empath is a superpower. Once you can distinguish YOUR thoughts, feelings, and emotions from those of others, you can observe without taking it into your body.

Create a business and life where you feel great, surrounded by happy and vibrant people.

Next time you find your mood changing, all of a sudden, ask yourself what just happened a moment ago, and most importantly, is it your feeling, or did you pick it up from someone that you just crossed paths with?

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