December 11, 2017
I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization.
There are thousands of books, articles, and seminars offering the secret of success. Notwithstanding the animosity coming out of Washington I believe the real secret lies in the rewards we recive when we demonstrate our concern for others. Those who can set aside their selfishness and replace it with selflessness opening themselves to empathy for others will always win.
I recently stumbled across an article written by Travis Bradberry that I liked, here in part is what he wrote.
Good for you: Eight habits of considerate people
“Being considerate of others will take you further in life than any college or professional degree.”
Marian Wright Edelman
That’s all well and good, but how practical is it? How do you become more considerate when you have so many other things competing for your finite mental energy? It’s not that hard—all you have to do is emulate the habits of highly considerate people.
Show up on time – Sure, sometimes things happen, but always showing up late sends a very clear message that you think your time is more important than everyone else’s, and that’s just rude. Even if you really do think that your time is more important, you don’t have to broadcast that belief to the world. Instead, be considerate and show up when you said you would.
Be deliberately empathic – It’s one thing to feel empathy for other people, but putting that feeling into action is another matter entirely. It’s great to be able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes—in fact, it’s essential—but that doesn’t necessarily translate into being considerate. To be deliberately empathic, you have to let your ability to walk in their shoes change what you do, whether that’s changing your behavior to accommodate their feelings or providing tangible help in a tough situation.
Apologize when you need to (and don’t when you don’t) – We all know people who are so insecure or so afraid of offending someone that they practically apologize for breathing. In such situations, apologizing loses its meaning. But it’s a different matter entirely when a sincere apology is really necessary. When you’ve made a mistake, or even think you’ve made a mistake, apologizing is a crucial part of being considerate.
Smile a lot – Physically, it’s easier to frown than to smile—smiling involves 42 different muscles; however, it pays to make the extra effort, as smiling has a huge effect on other people. People naturally (and unconsciously) mirror the body language of the person they’re talking to. When you smile at people, they will unconsciously return the favor and feel good as a result.
Mind your manners – A lot of people have come to believe that not only are manners unnecessary, they’re undesirable because they’re fake. These people think that being polite means you’re acting in a way that doesn’t reflect how you actually feel, but they’ve got it backwards. “Minding your manners” is all about focusing on how the other person feels, not on how you feel. It’s consciously acting in a way that puts other people at ease and makes them feel comfortable.
Be emotionally intelligent – One of the huge fallacies our culture has embraced is that feeling something is the same as acting on that feeling, and that’s just wrong, because there’s this little thing called self-control. Whether it’s helping out a co-worker when you’re in a crunch to meet your own deadline or continuing to be pleasant with someone who is failing to return the favor, being considerate often means not acting on what you feel.
Try to find a way for everybody to win – Many people approach life as a zero-sum game. They think that somebody has to win and somebody else has to lose. Considerate people, on the other hand, try to find a way for everybody to win. That’s not always possible, but it’s their goal. If you want to be more considerate, stop thinking of every interaction with others as a win/lose scenario.
Act on your intuition when it comes to other people’s needs – Sometimes you can just tell when someone is upset or having a bad day. In such cases, being considerate means checking in with them to see if your intuition is correct. If your intuition is telling you to reach out—do it; they’ll appreciate your concern.
Bringing It All Together – Being considerate is good for your mental and physical health, your career, and everyone around you. On top of that, it just feels good.
All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.
This woman rushes to see her doctor, looking very much worried and all strung out. She rattles off, “Doctor, take a look at me. When I woke up this morning, I looked at myself in the mirror and saw my hair all wiry and frazzled up, my skin was all wrinkled and pasty, my eyes were bloodshot and bugging out, and I had this corpse-like look on my face!
What’s wrong with me, Doctor?” The doctor looks her over for a couple of minutes, then calmly says, “Well, I can tell you that there is nothing wrong with your eyesight.”
You are never a looser until you quit trying.
At a Milwaukee post office, a woman complained to the clerk that a Pony Express rider could get a letter from Milwaukee to St. Louis in two days, and now it takes three. “I’d like to know why,” she scoffed.
The clerk thought a moment and then suggested, “The horses are a lot older now?”
Always remember you’re unique….just like everyone else.
The biggest seller is cookbooks and the second is diet books — how not to eat what you’ve just learned to cook.
A man is in no shape to drive, so he wisely leaves his car parked and walks home. As he is walking unsteadily along, he is stopped by a policeman.
“What are you doing out here at 2 a.m.?” the officer asks.
“I’m going to a lecture,” the man replies.
“And who is going to give a lecture at this hour?” the cop asks, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
Let him who is without aim cast the first stone.
There was a very gracious lady who was mailing an old family Bible to her brother in another part of the country. “Is there anything breakable in here?” asked the postal clerk.
“Only the Ten Commandments.” answered the lady.
Empathy is about standing in someone else’s shoes, feeling with his or her heart, seeing with his or her eyes. Not only is empathy hard to outsource and automate, but it makes the world a better place.
Daniel H. Pink
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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