People Skills Empathize Before You Analyze

People skills — especially empathy — connect us. Empathy transcends the ego. It closes the gap between us and creates infinite possibilities. It can turn mistrust into trust, doubt into confidence, pain into courage, and happiness into joy.


Empathy is one of the most powerful people skills for it replaces the distance of diversity with bonds of connection.  It is strongest when it comes from the heart.


This is true in our personal lives and in leadership, management, teamwork, and of course with customers. It is a universal connector IF we remember one people skills principle.


People Skills: Empathize Before Analyze Image is: Mind and Heart

People Skills: Empathize Before We Analyze Image by:Nastassia Davis

Image by Nastassia Davis via Flickr Creative Commons License.


Empathize Before You Analyze



Sound odd to you? Are you wondering, “How can I empathize unless I first analyze whether I agree?”

People Skills Tip

Empathy is not about judgment nor agreement. It’s feeling someone’s emotion — positive or negative. Analyzing is great for solving. Empathizing is the connecting before the solving.


“If we analyze to solve before we empathize to connect, we remain at a distance.

This choice limits what we can achieve.”



Imagine the possibilities of connecting through empathy & people skills!

  • Exploring different perspectives because empathy made it safe to explore
  • Collaborating because empathy built mutual regard
  • Sharing knowledge because empathy first shared a generous heart
  • Working through difficult moments with customers because empathy showed commitment instead of lobbing blame
  • Inspiring employees during the tough times of change because empathy connected to the truth
  • Reaching a solution with the apathetic and disaffected because empathy said “you matter”



Empathizing doesn’t mean agreement. It doesn’t delay or detour progress. Empathy is the universal connector to the new and unexplored — if we empathize before we analyze.

If we analyze first, it seems like judgment and builds barriers. If we empathize first, it creates a shared exploration to a better place.


Note: When two analytic personalities get together, they may find that analysis is the bond. It is their universal connector. When different personality types interact, this is not the case.


Question: What great things have you achieved through empathy? What surprising results will you share with us?


From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™

Related post:
People Skills Empathy: Do We Show It or Project Our Needs?

©2013 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

15 Responses to “People Skills Empathize Before You Analyze”

  1. Hi Kate:
    Never would have been able to grasp this concept if I had not first put myself in the other person’s shoe. I think it’s exactly what it means when you said “Empathize before you analyze” Thanks for the many nuggets you have shared..it’s left up to us individually to put all of these things into practice.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Hi Yvonne,
      Empathy does give us the capacity to be more empathetic. Ironic isn’t it? You first have to try empathy — that leap into another person’s world — to understand the power of it. And as you say, it’s left up to individuals to put it into practice.

      So grateful for your insight here. Have a wonderful day.
      Kate

  2. Dan Forbes says:

    Kate, Thanks for reminding us of the importance of Empathy. The old saying about walking a mile in your brother’s moccasins really does have it’s origin in American Indian wisdom. Truly understanding others requires empathy first.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Thanks Dan. Empathy really is that time and attention to someone’s view before analysis, process, action.

      Grateful for your contribution here.
      Kate

  3. Khalid says:

    Empathy is the reason for LOVE.

    If you look at couples when they fall in LOVE, empathy is what joins them together.

    Most relationships die when that empathy turns into analyzing each persons acts. When such analysis guide personal judgments about each others then LOVE suffers and eventually collapses.

    I LOVE your posts Kate :)

    Regards,
    Khalid

    • Kate Nasser says:

      And I LOVE the way you take every post and explain an essential part of life or work in such a clear way. Great insight. Couples who start analyzing and judging each other lose the magic of love.

      Thank you Kahlid!
      Kate

  4. Hi, Kate – interesting post, as always.

    Like several others, the phrase “Empathize before you analyze” resonates with me. This is a great reminder that empathy does not equal agreement or endorsement … just understanding and willingness to forego conversion as the goal.

    John

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Thank you John. Many who hesitate to give empathy do so because they think it means agreement. This misunderstanding is at the root of many interaction troubles — in personal relationships and professional pursuits.

      I am grateful for your addition to this post.

      Warmest regards,
      Kate

  5. Tagrid Sihly says:

    Empathy strengthens relationships and builds trust. Effective school leaders are able to empathize with their teachers and staff. As such, they are respected and trusted by their followers. Once they’ve established those collegial relationships, then it is easier to consider analysis and reform.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Thank you Tagrid. Great extension of empathy to the impact on schools, analysis, and reform. So honored that you have visited my blog and hope you will add your insight to any post of interest.

      Kate

  6. Hoda Maalouf says:

    Dear Kate,
    Thanks for this great Blog!
    People problems are not “abstract problems” where one solution can be found for a given problem. The solution always depends on the context and hence one definitely has to connect first to the others before starting the analysis or the judgment process.
    As a students’ advisor, I always start by connecting to my students by asking the question: “How can I help you?” I listen to their stories, empathize with them and then try to find a possible solution to their problems.
    I believe empathy is always needed first when trying to find a solution for situations where people are the key elements of the problem.
    Hoda

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Thank you Hoda. I love it when people add their own stories to these blog posts. Yours underscores how important empathy it is — especially with students.

      So grateful for your contribution here.

      Warmest thanks,
      Kate

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