Empathy is the ability to trust and understand another person’s feelings, or, at least their emotional reactions to things. It’s about us being able to “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes”, and even though we may not have personally experienced what they are going through, we understand and anticipate the situation (good or bad) and recognize that there are feelings and emotions attached to it.

When empathy is improved, we become better humans.

Empathy leads to:

  • stronger, more meaningful relationships
  • success in the workplace
  • better health and quality of life

“When you show deep empathy toward others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it. That’s when you can get more creative in solving problems.”–Stephen Covey

“Empathy is about standing in someone else’s shoes, feeling with his or her heart, seeing with his or her eyes. Not only is empathy hard to outsource and automate, but it makes the world a better place.”–Daniel H. Pink

Empathy is typically associated with EI, because it relates to an individual connecting their personal experiences with those of others. However, a number of models exist that aim to measure levels of (empathy) EI. There are currently several models of EI. Goleman’s original model may now be considered a mixed model that combines what has since been modeled separately as ability EI and trait EI. Goleman defined EI as the array of skills and characteristics that drive leadership performance

Emotional intelligence is the capability of individuals to recognize their own emotions and those of others, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, and manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt to environments or achieve one’s goal(s).

Emotional intelligence includes a cognitive awareness of empathy, which is less natural and more contemplative, but after some practice and familiarity, can produce the feeling of empathy if it’s not already present. Empathy is an inclination while emotional intelligence is developed through practice and immersion, reflection and comprehension, analytic ability and consideration. One who has empathy but lacks emotional intelligence, has an innate ability of being able to imagine how someone else feels, but might not necessarily know how to properly act on it to achieve a positive outcome.

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to use emotions effectively and productively. It is becoming increasingly clear that these skills are one of the primary foundations for better

performance in the society, EI also provides the basis for competencies important “in almost every job.”

Emotional intelligence (EI) is, in layman’s terms, our level of ability to:

  • Recognize and understand our emotions and reactions (self-awareness)
  • Manage, control, and adapt our emotions, mood, reactions, and responses (self-management)
  • Harness our emotions to motivate ourselves to take appropriate action, commit, follow-through, and work toward the achievement of our goals (motivation)
  • Discern the feelings of others, understand their emotions, and utilize that understanding to relate to others more effectively (empathy)
  • Build relationships, relate to others in social situations, lead, negotiate conflict, and work as part of a team (s aptals)