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One Simple Way to be More Empathetic

From where I sit, it seems obvious that our world needs more empathetic people. These are the people who have the ability to understand the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of others – often when we do not have the same thoughts, feelings, and experiences. In short, it’s the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

Instead of empathy, much of our modern discourse is filled with antipathy. Without actually saying it (most of the time!), people with antipathy towards other have this attitude: “I don’t like you and I’m not even going to try to understand your position or idea or feelings.”

Personally, although there is a dire need for more empathy, I don’t believe most people are filled with antipathy. I believe the problem is actually apathy. I don’t want to be bothered with having to understand you. Why? It might laziness, self-defense, or the result of information overload and the inability to add one more thing to our plates.

Yet we all know that empathetic people are easier to work with … and reason with. As leaders, they don’t dismiss the personal dimension. As teachers, they take the time to understand why a student might be struggling. Empathetic marriage partners don’t make the relationship all about themselves.

So, how can you become a more empathetic person?

Be curious. Ask questions about the other person and their situation. Not only with it show them that you care, you will also be amazed at what you learn in the process.

Experience and Background

  • Professor at Warner University
  • 25+ years of senior leadership experience
  • Presenter at DisruptHR Colorado Springs
  • Former president, Church Planters of the Rockies
  • Earned MBA in 2021
  • Helped start 2 for-profit tech companies

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