NVC (NonViolent Communication):
NVC is a toolkit in and of itself, and one I've been incorporating into my life for several years. I often still feel like a beginner, and that's okay! Beginner's mind is a wonderful place: free of Preconceived notions, where we can sit with the other person and see them with a Fresh Perspective. This is another tool that with enough daily practice may become second nature, so that when Discomfort in relationship arises, your habit energy will go towards Peace instead of Conflict.
Just begin where ever you are and take baby steps. Empathy begins with Awareness: What's alive in your own heart? When you can access that readily, you will also develop the capacity to provide empathy for another, guessing at what feelings and needs might be alive for them.
Empathy, feelings, needs. The backbone of NVC.
Here's one of my favorite “Jumping Off” spots in NVC, Peggy Smith's “Four Chairs”.