Success? What is it exactly? Especially now…
In terms of today, success in the new normal looks a little different than what you used to think of as success. For example, the traits of the old ways had to do with strength and power, action-oriented with a hard, competitive edge. For many of us, survival, staying healthy and alive is a new level of success that I think is on everyones HIGH Priority vision board. As we all get to play a role in this “new normal” we get the chance to redefine what success means to us, what is essential, and what is absolutely required!
So, I want to center this post around the role that Empathy plays in measuring our quest for success moving forward, in a way that I don’t think it had to in the past. What we now consider success is more in tune with the world of today, mostly because it has to be! You see successful people as being more open, even vulnerable as they share their authenticity with the world. We want real people to lead us—people who know how to express themselves well, and who inspire courage in others. We especially love people who show a great deal of empathy.
Empathy is one of those little talked about leadership qualities that will take you farther than all the rest combined. Think about it. When you know what people want and act upon their needs, you build more than a customer base or a networking possibility. You’re building a tribe.
How, then, do you increase empathy and tap into this new success?
When you take the time to really listen to what the other person has to say, you’re telling them they’re important, that what they think matters. But good listening goes far beyond this. When you’re actively listening to the other person, you’re asking questions. You’re showing more than a superficial interest in the other person. Good listeners also exhibit other traits you might not have considered. They’re seen as compassionate. They refrain from judgment or discrimination. A person who listens is a person who is open to the thoughts and beliefs of another person and hears what they have to say.
Once you start listening, you start seeing what it’s like to be the other person. You put yourself in their shoes and feel into what they’re going through. This is the step that will teach you the most about compassion, and if you’re doing it right, it might even break your heart. This is a good thing, as the lessons you learn here will not soon be forgotten.
Both these steps lead to the last. Now you understand the other person. You also have a pretty clear picture of what they want and need in their lives to make things better. Hopefully, this understanding clarifies your own trajectory and has solidified or even changed your goals somewhat.
If you sincerely practice these steps, you’re going to find the world opening up to you in ways you never imagined possible before. You’ll see a bigger picture, and set loftier goals, and work harder to achieve them. Keeping empathy at the forefront of how you have pivoted your life, goals and success plan can be a magical thing.