Have you ever heard the expression, “Try walking a mile in her shoes?” Well, that is exactly what it means to have empathy. Empathy is a skill that allows us to understand others’ thoughts, views, and feelings. Empathy makes us aware of the emotions and needs of others so that we can interact with them skillfully.
As you can imagine, practicing empathy is a positive habit for anyone to develop–and it is especially important for the students in your classroom. When your students practice empathy, they will:
- Communicate better with others
- Improve relationships with their peers
- Increase leadership skills
- Understand the needs and feelings of others
- Deal better with interpersonal conflicts
- Experience classroom success
While practicing empathy has many benefits, a lack of empathy leads to poor communication and a failing to understand others. This lack of empathy leads to all sorts of problems in our world; Nations go to war, people are killed—all for a lack of empathy and understanding. Scientists have even linked the lack of empathy to criminal behaviors such as stealing, drug dealing, and murder. An inability to feel a victim’s pain is a common trait among people who break the law. This inability allows a criminal to act without the pain of guilt. Although not all individuals who lack empathy are criminals, people who lack empathy miss out on a very important part of life. That’s why it is so important that you learn to teach the skills of empathy to your students.
In this series, we will look at the following areas to help you teach these skills to your students:
- Trust and Openness
- Empathetic Listening
Thanks for tuning in to our post on teaching empathy to your students. If you want to learn more about developing or teaching soft skills, sign up for a free soft skills webinar here.