February 6, 2019 / Category: Leadership
When we acknowledge appreciation for someone’s pain, we express sympathy. We’re letting them know that we are aware of their pain or situation. As Dictionary.com says: “agreement or harmony in qualities between things or people.” In practice, it’s more often used to convey commiseration or feelings of sorrow for someone else who is experiencing misfortune. We express sympathy, and it helps us connect with people. It’s important as leaders and colleagues to express sympathy at times of loss or pain. People appreciate it.To connect with someone for the pain or upset in their lives, we express empathy- “the capacity or ability to imagine oneself in the situation of another, experiencing the emotions, ideas, or opinions of that person.” Bill Clinton was famous for his ‘I can feel your pain.’ It says, “I’ve been there. I know this place. I can feel it.” As leaders or teammates, we connect more deeply when we’re empathetic. It’s an important powerful way to build trust and deepen relationships. However, when we express that ‘we know how you feel,’ it can backfire. No two persons have the same experience, no matter how similar the situations may seem. My loss of a loved one is different from yours. And letting people know you’ve felt similar pain is always a good thing.
To connect with people’s pain or upset and help them do and feel better…that’s compassion with emotion. Compassion is defined as the feeling that arises when you are confronted with another's suffering and feel motivated to relieve that suffering.As leaders and teammates – at home and at work – we need to avoid pity, express sympathy, feel empathy and collaborate with compassion. Helping people achieve success – and overcoming obstacles – is true leadership. Our team helps leaders of large and small, local and global businesses work to exceed their company’s and employee’s expectations. We’d love to hear from you – why don’t you connect with us and let’s see where we can take you? Email: Info@ThirdLevel.com or US 800.262.0705 / UK 44 345 056 3383