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Thoughts From Our Director

Communicating with Empathy

This week, I had the privilege of being one of the breakout session speakers at a national healthcare leadership conference. The keynote speaker of the conference was Monique Tallon. One of the ideas we both talked about in our presentations was empathy.

“The ability to step into someone else’s shoes and see things from their perspective is having empathy,”  Monique says.“Communicating empathically are two different things; first, is an emotion. The second requires action. It’s how we communicate with one another that either leads to conflict or to understanding.”

My invitation to you this week is to check and see if you are listening with empathy. Are you putting yourself in the shoes of the other individual who speaking and deeply understanding what they are trying to say? Or are you waiting for a break in the conversation so you can get your point across?

In Monique‘s book, Leading Gracefully, she includes an exercise to help you improve your empathic communication. I would highly recommend you pick up a copy of her book and look at pages 121 and 122. There, you will find a four step exercise that is simple, but probably not easy. While it might take time and work, just think about the impact we (and the world) could have if we all practice empathy.

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