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Empathy Keys

What one ability can elevate nearly every human interaction? This week’s video, from Jerusalem, will help you connect with people in ways that are sincere and powerful.

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What one ability can elevate nearly every human interaction? This week we’re Off Balance On Purpose in Jerusalem.
I’m speaking in Israel this week, and as this is my first visit, I decided to deepen my experience, understanding and faith by visiting some of its ancient history. I’ll also leave with an enhanced empathy for the people here of so many different faiths and backgrounds.
Empathy is such a valuable possession. It is the desire and ability to understand another’s emotions.  Empathy brings you closer to your friends and loved ones, but it’s also the key to true leadership, better sales, anticipating your customers needs, and just being a likable person.
It’s easy to have empathy if you’ve actually experienced what someone else has. But what if you haven’t? Is it possible to share someone’s feelings if you haven’t been there. Well, not exactly. We can never know precisely how another person feels. But these quick kets, can help get close enough to connect deeply.
1. Flip focus. Rather than focusing on your needs, or a solution, try to absorb as much as you can about the other person.
2. Presume positive. You can’t have empathy if you are positioning the other person negatively. They have desires, fears and loved ones, just like you.
3. Project yourself. Become them, in your mind. Imagine looking out of their eyes at their world and situation.
4. Feel what’s real. Whatever they’re feeling IS the reality, for them.
5. State their case. Rather than explaining your perspective, explain theirs.
6. Shut up and listen. Where you were off base, adjust your understanding.
7. Help them. Understanding isn’t enough. When you act on their behalf, you’ve demonstrated you have empathy.
Like every skill, empathy gets better with intentional practice. So don’t protect your presumption. Default to discern others’ feelings. And then, you’ll know what to say, and what to do. Until next week, stay Off Balance On Purpose.

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