Brené Brown on Empathy and sympathy
Brené Brown on Empathy

difference between empathy and sympathy

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The difference between empathy and sympathy

Rapport-building happens much faster (and is essential in sales) when you’re able to demonstrate empathy.

There’s a huge difference between empathy and sympathy. Empathy is a far more powerful tool to have in your people skills toolbox than sympathy.

The best description I’ve come across that easily demonstrates the difference between empathy and sympathy is this short Ted Talk video by Brené Brown.

Coming up to almost 8.5 million views it’s pretty obvious I’m not the only person who thinks this is a worthwhile watch.

I encourage you to take just 3 minutes of your life to join the other 8.5 million people around the world who’ve watched it and (hopefully!) have picked up useful tools regarding empathy.

Key takeaways regarding empathy

Empathy fuels connection whereas sympathy drives disconnection.

Four Qualities of Empathy

  1. Perspective Taking
  2. Staying out of judgement
  3. Recognising emotion in other people
  4. Communication the recognition of the other person’s emotion

Empathy is feeling with people

Brené Brown

Being empathetic is a [vulnerable] choice.

Empathetic responses will rarely start with “… at least…”

A better response is something like “… I don’t even know what to say right now – I’m so glad you told me…”

Other Brené Brown Ted Talks worth watching

The power of vulnerability

The anatomy of trust

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