Thursday, February 21, 2013

Servant Leadership...Empathy!

And be you kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you. (Eph. 4:32)

Hello again! I'm back for another round as I run down the 10 Principles of Servant Leadership.  In my second post on servant leadership, I talked about the art of listening. Here's the link here, As I have learned the value of being able to listen to your "inner voice" as well as the voices of others around me, it has helped me be able to make wiser decisions with lots of foresight.

On this particular post, the word of the day for servant leadership is empathy. The above picture for this post already gives you the definition for the word as it may (or may not) confuse you with the word sympathy. With that said, I want to share with all of you the summary for our word, empathy.

Empathy - Servant-leaders strive to understand and empathize with others. People need to be accepted and recognized for their special and unique spirit. One must assume the good intentions of coworkers and not reject them as people, even when forced to reject their behavior or performance.

In all my years of interacting with people, empathy is not the word that is very widely used. Oddly enough, there have been numerous occasions for me to put this word into practice. I'm one of the most candid and transparent people you will ever meet because it just so happens that empathy, in light of the definition given to us in the above picture, has been practiced for as long as I can remember. I have had the honor and privilege of doing volunteer work for the American Red Cross. During my time with "ARC",  I have been blessed with numerous opportunities to be a servant leader.

As a servant leader, we have the capacity to make a great impact in our respective communities as we share another person's feelings, experiences, and emotions, especially during a natural disaster. Numerous instances can be mentioned of the heroic acts of men and women that have become servant-leaders overnight because of a major calamity. All of us are capable of empathy. The example I gave about my experience with "ARC" is only one of numerous examples where empathy can be applied.

Empathy is also a necessity at home, in the workplace, at church, and anywhere else you find yourself interacting with other people. Listening is a great art to learn and master, but empathy is the one art that focuses more on just the emotional. It makes an incredible impact in one person's spiritual growth as well. Empathy passes all of our natural senses and digs really deep into the heart of the matter.

Well friends, this is pretty much empathy in a nutshell. Empathy has the ability to be able to change a person's  life from the inside out.

In what way have you been able to express your God-given gift of empathy in the lives of others? How has it changed your life in the process?

There you have it friends! I want to thank you all very much for reading this far as I continue to encourage all of you to be empathetic to everyone that God brings around your way. Even though empathy may not come so naturally to all of us, it's possible. Don't wait for tragedy to strike to show empathy, go out of your way to be empathetic to everyone around you as much as possible. For me, it took a very tragic moment in someone's life before I really saw the fruits of empathy blossom into something so miraculous that empathy is practiced every single day and become someone that is willing and able to listen to and share in the experiences of everyone in my life, online and offline.

May God continue to bless you and keep you all my wonderful friends! Jesus loves you and so do I!...:-)