Most people guess incorrectly about the best way to reach out in empathy to others. Yet identifying with others is one of the chief means we gain likeability, one of the Seven Influence Traits®. Of course we don’t empathize with others merely to increase a score; however, having people understand we are emotionally in their corner does help us lead them.
What Is Empathy?
The action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner - Merriam Webster
Which Road to Empathy?
Research suggests that a process of systematic reasoning outperforms gut instinct for understanding what other people are thinking and feeling. This counters our own self-perception that gut instinct would be the best means to empathize.