How to be more empathetic

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Nowadays, it is vital to think about the feelings of others whether you are trying to build a company or climb the corporate ladder.

People despise corporations as a default these days thanks to late capitalistic practices (e.g. the misadventures of United Airlines, the outrageous Grenfell Tower fires that killed scores of people with highly flammable cladding that cost a few pounds less than the safe kind, etc).

As such, if you show and prove to people that you care about them, you will give yourself a huge boost over your competition.

Robert Bassam has practiced empathy in his business dealings for years. From getting customers cars they actually need to supporting charitable causes in the local community, he has built up a reservoir of good will that has served him well over the years.

It even led him to put his BMW and Lamborghini in storage during the Global Financial Crisis, as he felt driving them around during that miserable time would be perceived as a provocation against those having their lives ruined.

He instead opted for a Hyundai Accent, as it seemed to be a way to show others that he wasn’t an obnoxious one percenter.

Want to be more empathetic towards others? In this post, we will discuss a few ways you can adjust your mindset so that you can appreciate how your actions affect others.

1) Put yourself in someone else’s situation

You might have never have experienced poverty in your life before, or lost a position with no transferable skills that would allow you to obtain another with a similar wage.

However, it is possible to mentally insert yourself into these scenarios that will allow you to feel what it is like to be in these positions.

Picture yourself having to pay the rent, purchase food, and pay enough to keep the lights on while not knowing where the all the money would come from, and you’ll develop a bit more sympathy for people in this predicament.

Or consider this: you only have a high school diploma, which is what a lot of baby boomers only needed to get a good job in the past.

All of a sudden, they find themselves unemployed, with no jobs paying near to what they need to get by at the stage of life in which they find themselves.

By thinking deeply on these matters, you will see that there is more to the issues than what you think about them.

2) Get uncomfortable

Don’t just make empathy a thought experiment. Actually slot yourself into an environment where you will be put into touch with the issues that the disadvantaged grapple with everyday. This way, you will find it much easier to feel empathy for those outside of your circle.

This can take the form of practicing poverty for a week (buying nothing but the bare essentials), volunteering at a homeless shelter, or by traveling to developing countries that are affected by the decisions you make as a company.

By doing this, you’ll likely experience a shift in your mentality that wouldn’t have come about if you stayed within your bubble.

3) Be curious about the lives of other people

Wonder what life is like for the average member of the LGBT community, or any other group you have trouble identifying with? Why not ask them?

Note that if you do this, you really should listen deeply, as doing so will enable you to answer genuine follow-up questions.

This way, they’ll appreciate your actual interest in their experience, and you’ll gain a perspective that you would have not gotten any other way.

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