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Empathy: Something AI Currently Can't Do

It will be one of the most sought after skills in the future ...

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As the artificial intelligence revolution roars on, its no wonder that we worry about whether we will have a job in the future ...

Practice empathy when you interact with people as you'll likely appear much more caring and approachable!

Practice empathy when you interact with people as you'll likely appear much more caring and approachable!

copyright: lightwise / 123rf

The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that 400 million to 800 million of today's jobs will be automated by 2030. Which is why we will need to develop our conscious human skills.

"Empathy is something AI currently can't do, and it will be one of the most sought after skills in the future!"

Whether you're in customer service, sales or leadership, having the ability to be genuinely empathetic will give you the X-Factor and mean you are never out of a job!

To start using empathy more effectively, consider the following:

  • Put aside your viewpoint, and try to see things from the other person's point of view

    When you do this, you'll realise that other people most likely aren't being evil, unkind, stubborn, or unreasonable - they're probably just reacting to the situation with the knowledge they have.

  • Validate the other person's perspective

    Once you 'see' why others believe what they believe, acknowledge it. Remember, acknowledgement does not always equal agreement. You can accept that people have different opinions from your own, and that they may have good reason to hold those opinions.

  • Examine your attitude

    Are you more concerned with getting your way, winning, or being right? Or, is your priority to find a solution, build relationships, and accept others? Without an open mind and attitude, you probably won't have enough room for empathy.

  • Listen Listen to the entire message that the other person is trying to communicate:

    • Listen with your ears - what is being said, and what tone is being used?

    • Listen with your eyes - what is the person doing with his or her body while speaking?

    • Listen with your instincts - do you sense that the person is not communicating something important?

    • Listen with your heart - what do you think the other person feels?

  • Ask what the other person would do

    When in doubt, get the person to explain his position. This is probably the simplest, and most direct, way to understand the other person. However, it's perhaps the least used way to develop empathy. It's okay if you ask what the other person wants: you don't earn any "bonus points" for figuring it out on your own.

  • Go the extra mile and actually offer help or support

    It's a small thing, but the other day I was in a Costa coffee and I ordered a porridge. I asked if it was sweetened and the Barista said no, but there was sugar, "over there". She must have noticed my face, and to my surprise she said, "I guess that's not very healthy is it, I can try and find you some honey if you like?"

    I was then able to enjoy my porridge with some lovely honey. So, look for ways you can really do something to demonstrate your empathy; it really helps the other person to feel valued.

Practice these skills when you interact with people. You'll likely appear much more caring and approachable - simply because you increase your interest in what others think, feel, and experience. It's a great gift to be willing and able to see the world from a variety of perspectives - and it's a gift that you can use all of the time, in any situation.

"Would you like to know more?"

If you'd like to find out more about empathy and how your workforce can be trained to make better use of it, do give me a call on 01908 511 062 or click here to ping me an email and let's see how I can help you.

Until next time ...


More about Debra Stevens ...

I'm the founder of DTS, which was established in 1996. A highly successful experiential training company specialising in facilitating behavioural change in all aspects of dealings with people, whether in customer service, sales, management or with colleagues and teammates.

I've managed large contracts such as Pearson Education, Coca Cola, Penguin Books, Accenture, and Santander for over 21 years and have built up excellent relationships with key sponsors of all aspects of the businesses.

I'm a successful trainer, writer and speaker with nearly 30 years' experience of training people at all levels.


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