Too often, priority is given to professional skills when starting to build a new business, a name, the branding, etc. Unfortunately, personal aspects are often neglected, and those are very fundamental.
Empathy is one of these aspects to be absolutely taken into consideration to work well with remote clients and collaborators. Empathy is certainly not a new concept. It is important for a virtual assistant to develop it, and now we’ve decided to expand it with some tips on how to develop empathy in order to work better at distance. But first review why it matters.
Empathy in a virtual assistant:
It allows you to understand what are the customer’s needs.
The needs of others are perceived as ours, so what’s important and urgent for the customer is for us.
Allows you to set priorities set on customer priorities.
Helps to make decisions quickly and efficiently, knowing that this decision is the same one the customer would make.
It makes us feel that the success of clients and their business is partly ours, so our actions are aimed at achieving that success.
Developing empathy is the key to building a relationship of trust and a long and fruitful collaboration between virtual assistant and client.
How to develop empathy
Certainly there’s no competent texts on this topic, but we’ll give you some suggestions based on our experience.
Know yourself: It is necessarily the starting point of any human relationship, if you don't know yourself, how can you think of understanding others? For example, think about how you habitually interact with others: are you shy and tend to be silent while another person doesn't stop talking? Or is it you who doesn't stop talking? Find out what aspect of yourself you can improve in human relationships.
Learn to listen: Many people tend towards self-centredness, either out of a need to be the center of attention that sometimes hides insecurity, or out of some kind of arrogance, which we think always hides a need for approval and, therefore, little acceptance of oneself. We have to carefully listen with a sincere interest in what the other person has to say. That is what we think the first step in developing empathy.
Appreciate the differences. Appreciate and accept the wonderful uniqueness of others: no one can think like you, we aren’t clones! Accept that there are other points of view, other ways of thinking and doing things. Start from this acceptance to establish an empathic working relationship, and if you realize that you cannot accept the characteristics of another person, then it will be better not to work with this person.
In our opinion, these are the main points to take into consideration, if you can think of others and if you want to share your experience, leave us a comment!