Keep reading to learn more about Tactical Empathy, why it matters, and what you can do to wield Tactical Empathy more effectively.
What is Tactical Empathy®, and why does it matter?
Tactical Empathy is the calibrated application of emotional intelligence. It involves proactively listening to your counterparts so you can detect and verbalize their emotions and the dynamics and circumstances impacting them.
When you demonstrate Tactical Empathy, you demonstrate understanding. When done correctly, your counterpart feels heard and understood without you having to say some variation of “I understand.” And when your counterpart feels heard and understood, they will think more clearly.
Because people are six times more likely to do business with people they like, the benefits of Tactical Empathy speak for themselves. Ultimately, Tactical Empathy enables you to build trust-based influence and listen to your counterpart on a deeper level, enabling you to find the Black Swans that will change everything going forward.
How can you improve Tactical Empathy?
No matter how good you are at executing Tactical Empathy, you can always improve. In this section, we will examine tactics that will help you use Tactical Empathy to win more business and improve your relationships.
Practice all the skills.
First things first: Ensure you’re doing everything you can to perfect your craft by practicing all the Black Swan skills and learning as much as you can about negotiation. Check out our YouTube videos, subscribe to our newsletter, and sign up for our online classes. Practice curiosity, Dynamic Silence™, active listening, and all of the Black Swan Negotiation 9 skills.
Stay in the moment.
Building Tactical Empathy doesn’t happen with a single Label™ or Mirror™. It’s the sum of an entire communication style, so remember to stay in the moment. Even if a skill doesn’t land how you hope, stay curious and continue digging deeper. You will get more information even if your counterpart only provides a one-word response.
Remember to practice Tactical Empathy for the right reasons. Use it in every situation, even when you don’t have anything to gain or are talking to someone who can’t do anything for you at that moment. The more you let Tactical Empathy guide your conversational style, the stronger every relationship in your life will become. When you do need something, the people you have built Tactical Empathy with in the past will help you.
Examine the conversations you’re in.
After each conversation, determine what your counterpart failed to learn about you because they didn’t execute genuine curiosity. Examine the conversations from the other side. What did they miss?
I usually get irritated when making a big purchase, such as buying a new car or appliance when I do not feel heard. Recently, I went to buy a dishwasher, and the salesperson showed me a model without asking me what I needed in a dishwasher or any of the features that would be important to me. I was shown what benefitted the salesperson. If they, made the conversation about me and my family’s needs they could have matched me with the ideal solution out of the gate. If I had been met with Tactical Empathy founded in genuine curiosity, I would have walked out with a dishwasher and new refrigerator as well.
Avoid expressing sympathy.
When we start trying to build empathy, we often relax our minds too much and end up expressing sympathy for our counterparts. When you start being sympathetic, you can’t turn to Tactical Empathy because you’re fulfilling an emotional need and pitying the person rather than truly understanding them. Sympathy easily becomes common ground, and that can be weaponized against you.
Try to understand your counterpart as thoroughly as possible. When you focus solely on building Tactical Empathy, your counterpart will still feel that you understand their plight, but you will lead with understanding rather than pity.
Tactical Empathy is simple, but nobody does it.
Most people ask questions looking for specific answers. If those answers don’t come, they ask more questions. Rather than listening and trying to understand their counterpart, they yap like an auctioneer and dominate the conversation.
When you practice and understand Tactical Empathy, you will be able to lead with it when needed because it will come naturally. Speak less, listen on a deeper level, and try to learn as much as possible about the person across the table from you. When Tactical Empathy becomes part of your mindset, you will be unstoppable.
Your success is the average of the 5 people closest to you. Hedge your bets. Forward this article to the 7 people whose success will lift your success.