Empathy: Understanding what is said

It is one thing to feel compassion for another person or situation and quite another to be demonstrate empathy.  I think we all can agree that we like to be listened to when we are speaking and even more important to be heard.  Most of the time we are not looking for someone to solve the problem for us – we want to know that someone understands and more important that they care.

One way of being sure that the other person knows that we heard and understood what they were saying is to repeat back to them what we heard them say, using slightly different words, paraphrasing.  When we do this we are sure then that what we understood them to say and what they meant to convey were the same.  For instance if we ask our child to clean their room for this weekend we may have in mind that it be completed prior to other activities on the weekend.  But the child may have only heard the time frame “weekend”  and may feel that as long as it is done by Sunday night that that fills the requirement.  However if they had paraphrased back to us “So you would like me to have my room cleaned by Sunday on this weekend”, immediately we would know that there was a misunderstanding and could correct the situation before there was conflict.

The same is true for understanding the feelings of others.  We may state back to a person, “So you are upset when …..”   Being able to paraphrase effectively helps us to listen more closely and confirms that we understand each other which allows us to be more empathetic.

Successful goal setting

Our goals must be about us.  They cannot be about others or what we would like to see them do or accomplish.  When we know the results we want and why we want them then that is our goal.
Then we should ask ourselves if this goal is Real.  Is it possible to reach this goal?  There is a difference in setting high goals for ourselves and setting a goal that is not attainable.  I also believe that after we set a high goal that it is good to break it down into smaller chunks.  If we want to lose 40 pounds this year, maybe we break it down into 2 or 3 month increments.  Then we can see the progress we are making and get the good feeling of accomplishment.
Finally what is the time frame for reaching the goal.  is it this week or this month, year, 5 years or 10 years.  Goals are only dreams if they do not have a time table set to them.  When we have a time table we can then start setting smaller goals so we can reach our bigger milestones.
What is your goal?  Set a goal for your school, home, job or your physical training.  Let me know what it is and I will be here to help you reach that goal.  That is one of my goals this year – to help others reach their goals.