Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?” It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches, or … Read moreOn the Side of Truth: The Analytical Strength
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
Romans 12:15 (NRSVCE)
Perspective taking, staying out of judgement, recognizing emotion in others, and communicating it are the hallmarks of empathy. This short video featuring Brené Brown explains why we need to climb down into the hole and connect.
“Empathy is simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of you’re not alone.” – Brené Brown
In her book, Dare to Lead, Brené Brown reminds readers
“daring leadership is leading from heart, not hurt”. Furthermore, she
states “Leadership is not about titles or the corner office. It’s about
the willingness to step up, put yourself out there, and lean into
courage.” Those, whose strength is empathy, are often those who do put
themselves out there. They lead with their heart not their head. Those with
empathy feel and experience things at deep levels. Empaths are extremely
compassionate and capable of placing themselves in someone else’s shoes. It
isn’t unusual for empaths to pick up on positivity or negativity around them or
to be able to express pain or joy for others. This intuitiveness means that
people are naturally drawn to those with the empathy strength. For the empath
however, this can become exhausting, as without even realizing why, they will
carry the burden for others. People who have empathy can be life giving for
those whose well-being is compromised. The ability to name anxiety, sorrow,
anticipation or even happiness for someone else make empaths integral to any
Students usually like teachers who are high in empathy since
students feel like the teacher really “gets them”. The empathetic
teacher senses when his/her students aren’t quite themselves. This perceptivity
helps the teacher to make adjustments and plan for time to converse with
students. These teachers are also able to help their colleagues to be aware of
the feelings surrounding them. It is important to give credence to the feelings
of these individuals. They are often on the right track before others but they
aren’t yet able to explicitly define why. The empathetic teacher can become
easily burned out if s/he doesn’t employ self-care strategies.
Students high in empathy might find themselves easily
distracted by changes in the energy around them. They might be more easily
prone to tears or emotional responses. They thrive in harmony and positivity but
might shut down when faced with dissonancy, aggression, or conflict in the air.
Trying to surround students who are high in empathy with positivity is critical
in order to keep them happy and hopeful. These students benefit from direct
instruction in self-awareness and self-care. Learning how to listen but not
take-on others problems will serve them well. For a teacher who might not have
empathy as a strength, these students can be valuable in helping to gage the
readiness or response to new situations.
If your strength is empathy, practice self-care, surround
yourself with positivity, and know that your friendships will be deep and