To: The Great Leaders Who Have a Passion for Continuous Learning
In a recent blog, I Know What You Should Do, Seth Godin, author and marketing guru, completes his title to the blog with the statement: “Actually, I don’t.” He remarks that he knows what he would do, but he cannot speak with absolute certainty about what someone else do – we cannot fully stand in an another person’s shoes. His words capture the beauty of each person’s individual uniqueness – that we all see the world so very differently – in a manner, depth, breadth and uniqueness that no one else sees or experiences. We are rapturously one-of-a-kind. This is the stuff of individual greatness that each great leader brings to the table of life and to each other.
Yet, Godin writes, empathy provides a path for connection: “Empathy requires something extremely difficult: accepting the fact that we are not and never will be in the other person’s shoes. There’s no rational, universal course because individuals have different goals, different worldviews and different experiences.” Daniel Goleman, author and psychologist, refers to empathy in leaders as primal leadership: “Empathetic people are superb at recognizing and meeting the needs of clients, customers, or subordinates. They seem approachable, wanting to hear what people have to say. They listen carefully, picking up on what people are truly concerned about, and respond on the mark.” Empathy, writes Fritz William, ethical humanist: “… transports us into the soul and heart of another person….”
“Seek first to understand,” counsels Stephen Covey, “to be understood.” Open yourself fully to understanding the other person. Go beyond the words. Be empathetic. Transport yourself into their heart and soul. Get as close as you can to seeing and feeling the world through their eyes. Then, you will truly connect. As Atticus Finch, fictional character of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird said: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” And when we get out of our own skin, we will find possibilities and joys of worlds of which we never dreamed – we will begin to imagine and see the unimaginable. And it will be fun, exciting and fill our hearts with incredible joy and magnificent learning.
Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!