The distance from hearing to empathy is wide, but worth the travel. – James Rosseau, Sr.
Words have a lot of meaning.
Hearing is defined as “the process, function, or power of perceiving sound; specifically, the special sense by which noises and tones are received as stimuli.”
Listening is defined as “to pay attention to sound; to hear something with thoughtful attention; and to give consideration.”
Effective listening is defined as “actively absorbing the information given to you by a speaker, showing that you are listening and interested, and proving feedback to the speaker so that he or she knows the message was received.”
Empathy is defined as “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.”
I have too often used the word “empathy,” without a complete understanding. To “share the feelings of another” takes work, restraint, and discipline. It requires holding back on the natural inclination of listening to respond. However, if we really want to help someone … if you really want to create collaborative solutions … isn’t it worth it?