Em* pa* thy: the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
It is important to remember:
- People think in different ways.
- People interpret events in different ways.
- People give more thought to their words than to your words.
A day does not go by that we don’t pick up a newspaper and read about some incredible, unbelievable predicament somewhere in the world. These stories must be true because you can’t make some of this stuff up. Some are weird. Some are bizarre. Many are sad. In a few instances I find myself saying to myself, “These people can’t be real. They can’t really think that way?”
From time to time you are bound to find yourself in discussions where you don’t agree with what is being said. What others may feel to be ‘true’ and ‘obvious’ may be 180 degrees from what you believe. Again you find yourself asking yourself, “Are these people playing with me?” At times like this you can often feel a “heated discussion” just waiting to surface.
Work at listening to these people with empathy and understanding. If they begin to appear agitated, and their voices begin to raise above a normal pitch, be bigger than the situation dictates and remain calm…while trying to understand their point-of-view.
People have different opinions and interpret things through their personal experiences, which are not necessarily yours.
Listen. Reflect. Try to identify with their “position.” Try to see their picture as they explain it. But do not fuel their anger.
Today more than ever, we need leaders…and leadership…and calmness…two-way and empathy. We need strength and resolve, direction and focus.
For the rest of the year, try practicing a more empathetic approach to your dealings with others. It is a worthwhile challenge and one that will pay significant dividends in the long haul.
Mike Marchev has plenty of stories, strategies and tactics to keep you on top of your game.
Mike will be conducting his 5th annual Travel Sales & Marketing Business Development Cruise, sailing the Freedom of The Seas from Ft. Lauderdale. Email him at email@example.com for complete details. Five cabins are still available.
Mike’s daily column is made possible by AmaWaterways.