Empathy a is” KEY” soft skill. We call it that because other soft skills are developed from empathy.


When it comes to interpersonal interactions, empathy is the most important soft skill we can focus on. That’s because empathy is the ability to identify with another person’s experience or feelings. 

While we often think of empathy in terms only of bad stuff (identifying with someone’s pain or negative experiences), empathy actually applies to many different situations. Empathy enables us to see ourselves in someone else’s shoes. With empathy, we respond more appropriately to other people and even vicariously experience their feelings and emotions. That makes empathy a “best in category” to us!


When we demonstrate empathy, we create the potential for connections with others that are necessary to build teams and bring about the sharing of goals. Empathy actually forges those interpersonal connections for developing teams. And it makes it possible for colleagues who share goals to access complementary skills (from others) to complete their work tasks.


It’s a good time to mention emotional Intelligence (EI), also known as the Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EIQ). The EIQ is a measure of a person’s ability to exercise soft skills like empathy.

When we talk about EI, we’re referring to a person’s ability to recognize and manage their feelings so they can express those feelings appropriately. Through emotional intelligence (EI), we can better establish harmonious and productive relationships at work, at home, or even out in the community. 


There are four key components (skills or traits) to Emotional Intelligence:

  • Self-Awareness — able to recognize our own feelings and motivations
  • Social Awareness — able to recognize the feelings and needs of others in the context of the norms of a given situation
  • Self-Management — able to appropriately express (or not express) feelings
  • Relationship Management — able to relate effectively to others

Taken together, these components make up the “Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EIQ)” we mentioned above.


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