Infuse More Empathy Into Your Communication
Jun 8, 2020
1. Learn to listen well. When you are speaking with a customer or prospect, are you really listening to them—or are you thinking of what you want to say next? It's important to listen to the other person, whether you are speaking with them on the phone or attending a Zoom meeting. Geokezas recommends that you practice listening well through role playing. Work with another sales rep to practice a one-on-one conversation, aiming to avoid interruptions. Do your best to understand rather than listening to reply.
2. Repeat back. According to Geokezas, repeating what you hear is a helpful technique to practice in a role-playing situation. You can do this by setting up mock conversations. She says that once the speaker completes their story, the listener paraphrases what they think they heard. If the listener didn't capture the speaker's thoughts correctly, the speaker can relay the information until the listener understands. This step involves both roles listening carefully to each other.
3. Look for commonalities. You do not need a colleague or friend to refine this technique. Instead, spend time thinking about the people you meet throughout the course of a typical day. You may come across your mail carrier, a barista at your local coffee shop or a colleague you don't know well. Geokezas says the next step is to look for what you have in common with these people. When you do this, you help develop an empathetic perspective.
4. Strive to stay curious. A simple way to build more empathy is stoking your curiosity. When you have some down time, maybe while waiting for a meeting to start or waiting in line somewhere, avoid scrolling your phone mindlessly. Instead, Geokezas encourages you to make up stories about what the people around you are doing, thinking and feeling. Consider their attire and body language to build your stories. According to Geokezas, empathy grows when we expand our focus to the world at large, rather than getting caught up in our own bubble