Monday, September 19, 2011

“Empathy vs. Sympathy” - Professor M.S.Rao

“Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Individuals often look for empathy, not sympathy. In fact, there is a vast difference between empathy and sympathy. Sympathy is all about showing compassion when others are in problems and expressing solidarity and standing by them. In contrast, empathy is the ability to step into the shoes of others and looking at the things from others’ perspective. Empathy is essential for individuals. When you empathize with others most of the problems can be resolved in the world easily. But people often look only from their perspective not from others’ perspective leading to misunderstandings and conflicts.

Empathy is one of the essential ingredients of effective leadership. Leaders empathize with others to accomplish their objectively successfully. Before giving any task to others they empathize whether people can do it. Only when leaders are convinced that group members can do then they assign the tasks accordingly. Usually people expect empathy than sympathy. Hence, people must differentiate between these two words empathy and sympathy and empathize with others to connect with others easily and build bridges thus promoting fraternity and brotherhood. To conclude in the words of Mahatma Gandhi, "Three fourths of the miseries and misunderstandings in the world would disappear if we step into the shoes of our adversaries and understand their standpoint."

Professor M.S.Rao
Founder, MSR Leadership Consultants, India
Blog: http://profmsr.blogspot.com
Where Knowledge is Wealth
Email: profmsr7@gmail.com

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