Empathy: Use these sample phrases to craft meaningful performance evaluations, drive change and motivate your workforce.

Empathy is the understanding of another person's condition from their perspective by placing yourself in their shoes and feeling what they are feeling.

Empathy: Exceeds Expectations Phrases

  • Listens well and also pays attention to nonverbal communication, picking up subtle cues almost subconsciously
  • Puts clients' needs first; goes out of the way to help meet those needs and look for ways to improve clients' satisfaction
  • Takes pride in helping other employees by acting on their needs and concerns and helping them to bring the best out of them
  • Leverages diversity; creates opportunities through different kinds of people and relates well to everyone, regardless of their background
  • Has an insatiable curiosity about new employees and frequently chats with them in order to understand the world inside their heads
  • Examines own attitude and motives when solving a dispute with a colleague in order to find a viable solution
  • Always flexible and is prepared to change direction as the other person's feelings and thoughts also change
  • Takes an active interest in colleagues concerns and shows sensitivity to their feelings and perspectives
  • Is able to navigate company's relationships effectively and achieve what other colleagues may previously have failed
  • Always asks colleagues for their opinions or feelings regarding a situation as a way to learn more about them

Empathy: Meets Expectations Phrases

  • Rewards and praises colleagues for their accomplishments and strengths, and provides constructive feedback designed to focus on how to improve
  • Provides mentoring, coaching and stretching assignments that help colleagues and team members to develop to their full potential
  • Able to challenge bias, stereotyping and intolerance, and creates an atmosphere that is respectful towards everyone
  • Pays attention to the surrounding, the expressions, feelings, and actions of the people before interacting with them
  • Makes the customer feel valued; offers trusted advice to customers who want to develop a long-term relationship with the company
  • Sets oneself the challenge of having a conversation with a stranger every week in order to understand life in another person's perspective
  • Does not just want to be right to proof a point, rather, is truly interested in the best outcome or solution to a problem
  • Maintains an eye contact when having a conversation with a colleague and does not let one's own gaze drift all over the place
  • Tries to come up with answers that truly explain one's own feelings and refrains with negative answers such as "I don't know"
  • Opens up emotionally when connecting with others in order to deepen the connection with the other person

Empathy: Needs Improvement Phrases

  • Is egoistic and often keeps distance from co-workers; does not show willingness to mingle with other members of the team
  • Demonstrates non-caring and a ruthless competitive relationship with other colleagues
  • Does not care about own words and actions and the perception they create in others
  • Has trouble dealing with interpersonal conflicts at work, home and in the community
  • Often loses focus when answering a question and feels under pressure to come up with an answer, whether appropriate or not
  • Ignores and hides the emotional content in a conversation with colleagues making them not to open up fully
  • Finds it hard to withhold immediate judgment especially when first meeting or interacting with colleagues
  • Does not show interest in people outside one's own social circle or new employees
  • Does not seem to care about the needs of different people in the community and does not see the need to offer help to them
  • Does not take time to imagine what is going on in another person's life or allow time to walk in their shoes

Empathy: Self Evaluation Questions

  • Can you think of a time when you had to deliver less than ideal news? How did you go about it?
  • How can you tell that a colleague needs help? What steps would you go through to provide comfort?
  • What is one or two things you have learned from caring for or helping others at work?
  • Think of a time you had to address an angry client. How would you assess your role in diffusing the problem?
  • In your opinion, what are the ingredients in building and maintaining good relationships with colleagues at work?
  • Describe a time when you were able to strengthen a relationship between colleagues using effective communication. What made your communication effective?
  • What is one thing you wish other colleagues knew about you, but they don't?
  • Why is it important for employees to show empathy towards each other as well as towards their customers?
  • Can you think of a time someone interpreted something you said negatively, even though you didn't intend for it to be negative?
  • Have you ever decided to delay presenting some information to a colleague because you felt the timing was not right?