Whereas Empathy is more like a personality trait, Tactical Empathy is strategic negotiation behavior. It’s probing deeper and quickly – understanding the feelings and mindset of another at the moment and also hearing what is behind those feelings so you increase your influence in all the moments that follow. It’s bringing one’s attention to both the emotional obstacles and also getting an agreement done.
This definition comes from Chris Voss, in Never Split the Difference. He also describes it as," Emotional Intelligence on steroids."