When I first came online back in the 90’s there was very little information on the topic of empathy, what was available and often still is to this day, were discussions or writings that were scientifically based or coming from the perspective of psychology and neuroscience etc., well that’s not me, because empathy IS MY LIFE.
I am not personally interested in the psychological or scientific delivery of trying to interpret what empathy is over what it is not. Bring the brain into the equation and it is only one aspect of what makes up our whole. In my world, and in my Maori culture, we are spiritual in every sense of the word, everything we once did started with acknowledgments to our spiritual presence and yet over time this has been robbed from us as has much of humanity experienced in one degree or another.
We have been disconnected and made to think and do in a certain way, and to be conformists because society has dictated that to us. Good for some, but it has not ever sat well with my wairua (my spiritual self) which knows what is good for me, every day, in every moment of my existence.
I have also witnessed time and time again science state that this is factual, (what they say) only to have them turn around further up the track and say, ‘oh actually the world is not flat, its round, so you and I won’t fall off the edge’, or its bad to eat eggs, or too much fats cause cholesterol and then be told, ‘wait up, there are good fats and not so good, so some fats are necessary to eat!’ To realizing at some point it would be wise to use discernment and trust my empathicness!
We all have the option, the choice to slam the brakes on and listen to our own intuitive self, the inner voice where for me, my empathy has not ever, and I state this matter of factually, not EVER proven me wrong! It is only when I have allowed my head to listen to the multitude of influences outside of myself become nonsensical ramblings within my own mind state otherwise, and over-talk my empathic self that I have stumbled and fallen.
For as long as I can recall, I have gone against the grain of what society states how I must live my life and been somewhat of a rebel, well, not in my heart and eyes, but in the eyes of societies high pressured expectations of what it means to be human and how I should be living my life. I am being authentic to myself, being true to who I am, and not what society states whom I should be. But of course, we know to do so, we have to be introverted, or egotistical or… yes yes, heard all that before. How about just simply being authentic to my true self = statement.
I am currently re-establishing my mission in life, it is my core essence of what makes me who I am, and what has been my saving grace throughout my life, and if you thought it would be around empathy, then well done for getting that absolutely right.
It has taken me a better part of my life dabbling in different fields to figure out where my heart is to finally accept that it lay in sharing my life learning’s of empathy, which I must add, is ongoing. Having trained in Human Resources, business management etc., one thing kept coming up over and over, no matter how well management are trained in their field, many seriously lack empathy and fail to be in the top of their fields because of it.
As I set about doing research, sure enough it is now amounting to 50% of staff turnover – management! And what is being recognised (finally) is the lack of empathy, for without it, the most versed manager/ team leader cannot possibly connect with their team members if they lack this core element of what makes us human and in turn, inspire, motivate, uplift and empower. No empathy, not happening!
I have quit, literally, everything I have been involved in over the past decade to give full focus to writing about empathy and am busily working away to design manuals to awaken empathy within management and team leaders to how this core human element will revolutionize the workplace and when I am ready, I will take it out there and share this ever so enthusiastically. I am not the first person to do this, nor will I be the last, it’s just going to come from my personal experience of what has been and continues to be taught to me by empathy itself – the empath within.
Imagine a world where everyone loved their jobs! I LOVE MY JOB!!!
Waking up with a spring in your step because you felt like going to work was a great place to be, because you felt appreciated, respected and a part of one great big productive family, where there was a true sense of feeling connected. Now we all know with the flowing empathy within our being when that is real and when it’s a great bit fat FAIL! You can’t fake empathy, just like you can’t fake love, or happiness!
Yet in the workplace lack of empathy is proving to be the catalyst for high staff turnover, 50% of management which goes to show that at the top level how seriously astray it is. Sharing this with management will make a substantial difference throughout the workplace of every organisation and inevitably have a flow on effect to family and friends outside of the workplace – the ripple effect.
I know in order for me to do so, I must share it from the inside out, from the ground up and not from the perspective of psychology or science (there is a place for that of course, I am not questioning such, it’s just not my place), but from my very own personal experiences and what I have come to understand about empathy and how intricately beautiful it is, how it builds strong loving relationships and/or transforms relationships and sustains them/us/you and I. From the core, the epicentre of what makes us human, what keeps us real, grounded and gives us purpose – empathy.
Eventually I want to finish writing my book on empathy and then share these workshops with couples, parents, youth, coaches, teachers, individuals etc, in every area where relationships occur – that pretty much sums up humanity on the whole. This is my life mission doing what I love and loving what I am doing.
Christel Broederlow (C) 2014