Empathy is more than just acknowledging someone and who they are. It’s putting yourself in their position and walking not just a mile in their shoes but a whole marathon. Empathy is:
To understand empathy you need to first recognize that as an individual, you are human. Imperfect and doing the best you can given what you know to date. It’s feeling truly you.
Me, I’m fearless. I create big goals and find the path (sometimes with the most resistance) to achieve it. I generally learn the hard way, but for me that means I truly feel as if I learned.
I can’t help, but help. I’m sometimes helpful, not helpful. I’m learning to help when asked and when given clear instruction on someone’s needs then anticipating what I think they need and diving right in to only have to take 100 steps back. I’m a work in progress no matter how thoughtful my intentions.
Finally, I’m a big giant klutz. We call it Bella Syndrome. And sometimes things just happen like knocking stuff over or dropping slippery plates. I do my best to minimize my klutzy-ness by acknowledging my pitfalls, but sometimes the Bella gets the best of me and it is what is and all we can do is laugh…
Once I understand my own humanity, I need to look around me to the people I work and live with on a regular basis and accept that you, too, are human.
You come with their own daily successes and challenges that are not necessarily the same as mine. My humanity and your humanity are not the same. Which is where empathy truly comes in.
I sometimes forget what life was like before I had kids. As a parent and working with people who do not have children I sometimes forget how to communicate and basically not talk about my kids. I need to hop in my way back machine, remember the time when I traveled more easily and made quick whim decisions and use those found memories to connect to other people who don’t have children. It’s being cognizant of how I interact with you when you don’t have children as the common ground. Doesn’t mean I can’t mention my children, but it does mean I need find a way to connect with you on your interests as you too, are human.
Together, we are human. Together we look at the world with our own points of view and come together to solve challenges both little and very, very big. By first really knowing each other, only then can we come together and work together to do better and create real change from the inside out.
Be sure to listen to Miri’s full interview to hear some of her stories of how she became an empath and how she applied empathy and vulnerability to a content campaign within Microsoft that went viral across the globe.
Also, be sure to pre-order her book. On-sale March 31, 2020.
Miri Rodriguez is an award-winning digital marketer and storyteller. She has dedicated the last four years of her extensive marketing career advocating for and evangelizing brand narrative across many sectors and industries around the world. Rodriguez' mission for imparting storytelling techniques entrenched in vulnerability and empathy began when she worked as a creative journalist in the engineering discipline at Microsoft Corporation. There, Rodriguez recognized the immediate need to help educate and inspire engineers and colleagues across functions on designing distinctive narratives that help define and drive immersive and emotional customer engagement experiences, while navigating the uncertainties of the digital age.