Walk a Mile

image-footstepsEmpathy– the ability to emotionally understand what another person is feeling.


The last week has been tough. Wherever you look, people’s emotions are on edge due to the recent election. People have taken sides and each group is having difficulty understanding the motives and reactions of the other group. Some people are elated, while others are feeling a multitude of things: disappointment, fear, anger and grief.


Being trained in Mental Health, I spend every waking hour observing others. It’s just something that I do instinctively. I don’t necessarily engage in feelings— I just observe from afar and try to understand why and how people are responding.


Friday, I met with a connection that told me she had spent time guiding a company on how to handle a physical fight between two workers on opposite sides of the political argument. Yes, people are on edge everywhere you look and that emotion inevitably seeps into our workplace.


There is a lack of empathy in much of our communication. I observe individuals demonstrating their own personal values, beliefs and attitudes about life. The problem is that they also expect others to adhere to those same values, beliefs and worldviews. Following last week, there appears to be a lack of understanding—

We have trouble making room for human differences and the inability to see that individuals don’t necessarily fit into neatly defined categories.


What I do see is a strong compelling need to demonstrate WHY I am right and I have the right way of thinking.


Nowhere is this more evident than on Social Media. Here, you see a total lack of empathy and a complete lack of the ability to imagine how others feel. You see individuals pushing their belief system on others while refusing to listen. You witness people expecting others to see things their way, and if they don’t, they are attacked. You observe people feeling the need to rationalize their beliefs and expecting others to support them— or else. Polarized thinking is rampant and stirs up anger, hate and decisiveness.


You see a whole lot of JUDGEMENT but very little empathy.


As humans, we are a complicated species. Each one of us has a worldview made up of values, attitudes and beliefs based on our many life experiences. You won’t understand me unless you actively listen, without judgment, to where I am coming from and what I feel. I won’t understand you unless I actively listen, without judgment, to where you are coming from and what you feel.


Until this happens, we won’t have successful communication and understanding propecia dosage.


So how do you ensure that EMPATHY is part of your Leadership toolkit?

You become more Empathetic by practicing these skills daily.


  1. Use your energy to actively listen to others and understand how they are feeling.
  2. Refrain from minimizing others’ feelings and rationalizing about your own feelings.
  3. Hold yourself back from making judgments about others that think differently than you. Just meet them where they are.


Remember during this time that empathy is the ability to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. Truly live up to this standard.




Inspirational Quotes

Do you know the secret to finding success in your personal and professional life?  To be honest, I don’t believe the secret can be summed up in just one sentence or thought.  There’s a multitude of things that goes into you being able to accomplish your dreams. In lieu of this fact, I have compiled a few of my favorite quotes about success and why they speak to me.


“If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful after all”—Michelangelo 

What this talented painter was trying to say was the amount of blood, sweat and tears that went into his mastery was incredible.  It was his passion, his work and his life.  There is no way around it— being a success translates into numerous hours of intense work.  If you’re not willing to put in the time and energy and truly dedicate your life to your dream, then you won’t reap the benefits. It’s not an easy process, but it’s more than worth it.


“I think everyone should experience defeat at least once in their career. You learn a lot from it.”—Lou Holtz

If you strive to be successful, get comfortable with failing.  Being successful means that you need to be willing to take risks and put yourself in uncomfortable situations.  Failing along the way is a large part of each person’s journey to finding success. It will humble and center you so you may better understand what’s truly important in life. If you’re willing to listen, failing will teach you more than you can imagine and help prepare you for eventual success.


“Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too, can become great.”—Mark Twain

What great wisdom from none other than Mark Twain!  When you’re working toward a lofty goal, surround yourself with strong, confident women that support your efforts.  If there are individuals in your life that don’t support your goals, keep in mind that it’s more a reflection of them than it is of you.  Your courage to go after your dreams could make other individuals feel inferior and threatened. Stay the course and focus on your own goals.


“You know you’re on the road to success if you would do your job, and not be paid for it.”—Oprah Winfrey

Well guess what, Oprah? I would do my job for free! However, I realize that wouldn’t be a great business strategy, so I charge for my services.  I am passionate about helping other women achieve their goals and believe that this is my life’s purpose. When I’m working, I don’t’ feel like I’m working (except when I’m doing paperwork which is my least favorite part of my job). The point is that when you’re doing work you love, there’s a great chance you’re going to be successful.


“If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would astound ourselves.”—Thomas Al Edison 

It always pains me to see women that are squandering their strengths and talents.  It’s possible that you don’t even know that you’re talented in a certain area because you haven’t yet put yourself in a position to find out.  The point is that you need to get outside your comfort zone and try some new experiences. You will learn a lot about yourself and may just discover some new skills that you didn’t even know existed.  And with that, comes renewed confidence!


So many pieces of the puzzle need to fit together in order for you to find success.  Do what you love, work hard, stay positive and keep your eye on the prize when things get tough. And most of all, never stop believing in YOU.



A Lasting Impression

Have you ever given thought to the feeling you leave behind, after you’ve spent time with someone?


Think about what Maya Angelou said so eloquently, “ I learned that people will forget what you said, will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.


Last year, I was having lunch at a small deli with my husband.  I was enjoying my time when I noticed two women that were being seated near us.  I looked directly at one woman and immediately, a horrible feeling came over me.  I knew this woman looked familiar to me but couldn’t place her in my life.  What I knew was this— the moment she walked in, her presence made me very uncomfortable.


In my head, I searched for meaning. Who was this woman that elicited such strong, negative feelings from me? How strange it was that I would feel so much but remember so little!  I sifted through my brain to make sense of my strong reaction to her presence.  She smiled at me with some recognition but I still could not place the memory.  I actually felt guilt for feeling such strong negative feelings about someone that smiled at me!  Her presence interrupted my lunch and I had difficulty eating the rest of my meal. My husband could sense the change in my mood.


It took me two arduous hours of racking my brain to make the connection before I finally got it. Eventually, I had a memory flash of being in school, working on my Masters.  I saw this woman standing in the front of the class and explaining the very difficult project for the quarter.  I saw everyone squirming in their seats when she made it so clear how this one project would predict our whole grade for the class. The problem was that she made it so very difficult to ask her any questions as to what she truly wanted.


I also remember waiting for her to come into the classroom (apparently she was running late) and feeling uncomfortable that I needed to ask her if I could get into one of her other classes.  As she came in, I wanted to grab her attention before she started class. I walked up to her and began to ask my question.  She didn’t let me finish my sentence but barked for all to hear, “the least you can do is let a person get to their desk before you start attacking them”.  I was embarrassed and felt like a 6-year-old child.  I ended up not asking her whether I could get into her class.


With expectations always high for this professor, I was terrified to turn in the huge end-of-quarter project.  I was shocked to get my paper back— she had given me an almost perfect score (unheard of) and had added a paragraph as to how she was so impressed. The funny thing is, you’d think the results of my project would negate all those bad feelings. Not even a little bit!


Yes, I was left with the feeling that the woman enjoyed making me and others feel uncomfortable.  I was left with the feeling that she needed to control and intimidate everyone that she came across in her life.  The feeling that I just didn’t want to be around her— then and now.  Honestly, I don’t remember all the words she used but I remember how she made me and others feel inside.  Apparently, enough that I didn’t remember her— all I remembered was the feeling.


So I ask you to think about this— what feeling do you leave in the air after you spend time with someone?  Is it a feeling of hope, kindness, and authenticity?  Is it a feeling of trust, sincerity, and integrity?  Because the truth is that even when others might not remember the words you used, the emotion you made them feel will be etched in their memory forever.