We all want to feel heard. We all want to be validated. We all want to feel safe to be our whole selves. Too often we cover or hide parts of ourselves because we fear rejection or ridicule.
To be empathetic is to take on the perspective of another, even if just for a moment.
What if we just listened to another, not to agree or disagree, but just to see them. Curiosity and acceptance feel so good.
“I see your point.” That’s it. We allow someone to share something important to them and instead of dismissing them or disagreeing (even politely), we simply see the world from their perspective for a minute and tell them we get it, we understand what they’re trying to say.
They may have been expecting your disapproval or judgement and instead you just say, “I see your point”. Can’t you just feel them relax and release their breath? You’ve made them feel safe, in a world where they, and we, don’t experience that so often.
It works. It works particularly well in an argument; because in order to say it sincerely, you actually have to suspend your own position for just a second to really hear their side. You don’t have to reverse your position; you’re simply saying what they’re saying has merit.
Try this ONE thing
Find a way to say this, and really mean it, sometime in the next few days. Then find another way, and another. This is how we make the world a better place.
As a leader, are you struggling to be more empathetic? Talk to me. I’ve seen firsthand the power of it to make you a better leader.