Appreciate the differences in other people
Increase your awareness of snap judgments of others
When you perceive that you’re making a snap judgment of a colleague, notice your thoughts and emotional state. For example, if someone cuts you off while speaking, ask yourself, “Is she a jerk or is it simply the circumstances?” Become curious about why they’re behaving that way instead of yelling “You’re such a jerk!”
Explore other explanations for why someone is behaving in a specific way
If you hear a potential client yelling at someone on the phone, ask yourself what the situation is instead of rushing to label them as rude. Maybe the person on the other end is a deaf relative and they’re passing an important message. Maybe they feel frustrated because the person on the other end is a government clerk who keeps redirecting their calls. The person may have a good reason to be yelling.
Consider the other person’s point of view
Let’s say you’re a CEO and are struggling to motivate your software engineering team to collaborate with the marketing department to boost product sales. Instead of branding them a bunch of unemotional geeks, ask yourself what it would feel like to walk in their shoes. What are their professional needs and wants? What are their perspectives on the product? Are you offering them emotional motivators such as praise and recognition or are you merely relying on financial incentives? Such questions will help you develop empathy for them.