5 Steps to Develop Real Empathy
At our Midwest summer camp near Madison, Wisconsin and Chicago, Illinois, we try be our best selves and endeavor to provide an environment where our kiddos can thrive. An important component of personal development is developing empathy. A recent article shared some good insights on ways to develop empathy. Check out our summary below, with the full article available at this link: https://bakadesuyo.com/2021/05/rituals/
Don’t assume you understand
- Summarize the words you hear and share the emotional shifts you notice. Let them respond with agreement or corrections.
- They may say something that triggers a personal memory for you. Use curiosity to return to listening so you don’t get your story blurred with theirs.
Manage your filters
- We naturally hear what fits our assumptions and beliefs. We tune out what contradicts our views. Let yourself be surprised by how they define a situation. Look for new details and angles in their story you didn’t expect to hear.
- When they talk about things they say are bad and wrong, ask what is behind their judgment. Don’t jump in and agree. As soon as you say their judgment is right, you have tuned out to listening for more.
Don’t jump to advice
- Remember the goal is to understand their perspective, not fix their problem. If you jump in early with advice in the conversation, they will shut down or become defensive because they no longer feel heard. If you give solutions later without asking if they want your ideas, you run the risk of them discarding what you offer without consideration. Empathize and reflect first, then you can ask if they would like a few ideas to help find a solution.