Practice empathic communication


  1. Identify a challenging relationship.
    Start by pinpointing a relationship where you feel the "emotional bank account" might be running low, indicating a lack of mutual understanding or trust. For example, perhaps you've recently had a disagreement with a colleague about a project direction, and you sense tension or distance between you two.
  2. Reflect on their perspective.
    Without making judgments or assumptions, take a moment to write down how you think the other person might be viewing the situation. What might be their feelings, concerns, or underlying reasons?
  3. Engage in a listening session.
    The next time you converse with this individual, make it your primary goal to simply listen. Push aside the urge to reply immediately or defend your viewpoint. Instead, fully focus on understanding their perspective.
  4. Reflect on their perspective.
    After the conversation, revisit the notes you made about their perspective. Reflect on the differences and similarities between what you assumed and what you heard.
  5. Evaluate your assumptions.
    Ask yourself: How accurate were my initial assumptions? Were there any areas where I might have misunderstood or misjudged their viewpoint?
  6. Acknowledge and adjust.
    Recognize the areas where your assumptions were off-mark. Use this newfound understanding as a foundation for future interactions, continually refining your empathetic listening skills to build trust and deepen the connection.


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