Winter Wonderland and Empathic Acknowledging
I read a great little book by Lawrence Bookbinder PhD (Great name for an author) called Win Friends and Customers - Relationship and Business Success from Empathic Acknowledging.
I like sales books and have read dozens of them. Most of them have a section on listening and I know this is one of the characteristics of a great sales person. This whole book is about empathy.
Empathy is about real listening.
The book give numerous examples of how and why to do it. It points out the benefit of doing it well and how many people need help learning to do it better.
I liked the chapter on the difference between empathy and sympathy (they are different).
There is an appendix with 24 key points that summarizes much of the substance of the book succinctly. Things like "it is difficult to listen with empathy if you dislike the person" and "Giving empathic acknowledging during conversation is rarely done - a tragic situation because we deprive ourselves of its life-enhancing benefits"
A part of me wonders if empathy can be learned or if it is simply a part of who we are. I do think it can be enhanced but I think it naturally has to be there to start.
Quotes from the book:
Being heard and understood is "one of the greatest desires of the human heart"...Richard Carlson
Being listened to with empathy and acknowledgement is a vital human need... Bookbinder
I am still suffering from waves of sadness over the loss of my father. My brother Lyle wrote a fitting blog entry on him. When I think I am over it, it hits me again. People say you never get over the loss of a parent.
I enjoyed my walk to work through about a foot of fresh snow. I love my Baffin boots - warm, keep the snow out and mostly because they are comfortable.