Principle #7 – Show Empathy
Merriam Webster defines empathy as:
: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.
As you would expect I have a story from my own life about empathy.
My Beloved Aunt
Recently my aunt passed away. It was an especially hard time for my family as she was the beloved matriarch of not one but two families. She passed at 72 which is reasonably young. She was still vibrant and full of life when I saw her last, at my mother’s funeral about a year ago. However, she held a dark secret that few of us knew. She had been battling cancer for two years. I was not aware of it until I got a call from my cousin when my aunt entered the hospital about two weeks before her passing. My aunt was my aunt by marriage however, I don’t have a memory when she wasn’t my aunt so regardless of what the legal paperwork said, she was my aunt and I loved her.
Where the empathy comes into play here is with my cousin. She was very distressed by the passing of her mother. She and I talked a few times during the time her mother was the sickest. We talked a lot after my mother passed in July 2017. So as you can image, we have some common ground. The thing with empathy is that every time I looked at my cousin, I could, actually feel her pain and despair. It absolutely made my heartache for her. My heart still aches even as I write this for my own mother. My sister commented to me at the funeral that this was too much for her as the pain of losing our mother so soon just brought all the pain rushing back.
What I hope that you take from my rather painful story is that Empathy is probably one of the strongest of human emotions because it can trigger a whole gambit of feeling from pain, sadness, joy, glee, happiness, anger, frustration, disdain just to name a few. I think that empathy is one of the greatest tools you can use in your life, whether in business or personal because it is a big part of what make you human. The ability to relate to another based on common experiences, tragedies, victories. It builds the ground work for relationships or strengthens to make them lifelong.
I had a conversation with a LI connection Bree Kroski and she conveyed to me that in the work she does, she uses empathy all the time to relate to those she is helping. Her past life experiences have given her an advantage when dealing with her clients because she knows where they are in life and where they can go. For Bree it is something that is a true gift for her, her clients and her family.
Special thanks to Bree Kroski for sharing her story with me. I hope she is okay with me using it for this article as I find her story to be very interesting and she is a very passionate, caring and giving person, based on her life experience.
By tomorrow let me know how many new connection requests you have received and how many people commented on your comment. Remember to employ all the principles I have written about so far when you comment and bring value to the people you interact with. If there is no value in your comments, then you just wasted time and energy.
If you have not done so by now – Join the following groups to see what other successful LinkedIn folks are doing.
- #BEASTMODELIFE – https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12138037
- #projecthelpyougrow by Ira Bowman SPN – https://www.linkedin.com/groups/13615449
- The Service Professionals Network (SPN)- LION, Awareness Raisers, Open Networker – https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8435642
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