"The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy" - Meryl Streep
Many confuse empathy with sympathy, thinking only the spelling is different. There is relationship between this two, however. Empathy allows one to sympathise. Without empathy there is no sympathy.
Simplest way of describing empathy would be, "to step in someone else's shoe". This is essential in employee relationship in any context. In essence, your skills aren’t complete, if you don't have people skills in which empathy is essential.
Here's a common definition for empathy and sympathy:
Sympathy: the act of imagining and interpreting the thoughts, experiences, and perspectives of others from our own lens (e.g. our history, experiences, priorities and values).
Empathy: the act of attempting to understand the thoughts, experiences, and perspectives of others from their own lens (e.g. their history, experiences, priorities and values).
Although subtle, the difference in effect between empathy and sympathy is significant