sympathy: the feeling that you care about and are sorry about someone else’s trouble, grief, misfortune, etc.
compassion: a feeling of wanting to help someone who is sick, hungry, in trouble, etc.
It seems like there are millions of articles on empathy in sales and sales leadership out there. I believe many times leaders confuse empathy, sympathy, and compassion.
That is why I gave you the Merriam Webster definitions.
I am not convinced leaders always need to “share” (in empathy), be “sorry about” (sympathy), or find themselves “wanting to help” (of compassion).
I do believe that as a leader you have to take the emotions of a situation into consideration.
Those feelings may not change the business outcome, but it will impact your interaction with the people on your team.
Listen to and look for THEIR emotions. Then choose empathy, sympathy, or compassion in the delivery of your response.