Empathy.  The ability to step into someone else’s shoes, to see a situation from their perspective, what they might be feeling, what they might be experiencing.

And it’s really hard to do, especially when you are aggrieved.

Let’s say you are talking to a customer service rep about a defective product.  You want them to replace it.  But yelling at that person isn’t going to get you very far.

But perhaps if you can understand that you are the 50th person they talked with that day and they have been yelled at quite a lot.

If can appreciate that they have set rules they have to follow, and you can step into their lives for just a second, you might get closer to getting that replacement product or a discount on your next purchase.

Because when you do, you are showing respect. You are giving a gift and they may be more likely to give you something back in return.

Empathy:  it seems so basic but it’s hard to do.  But when we can step into someone else’s world, that is when we achieve communications breakthroughs.