When you are sympathetic you often become part of the problem. For example, a loved one is ill and you start to feel the pain and helplessness she is feeling. This does not do any good to the person. It might increase her pain though.
Being sympathetic is easy. It’s a sure way of doing nothing then crying with the person. Most often life demands more from us.
That more is to disconnect yourself from the problem and focus on the solution instead. This might mean that, at first, you give a ridiculous smile to your loved one who is ill before helping her. This is empathy and it’s way than being sympathetic. It’s hard too because at first when you disconnect from the problem people think you don’t care.
Businesses always require more of the later.