Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Value of Empathy

Wouldn't it be great if someone would just listen with sincere empathy when you have a problem or a tough situation? Everyone needs that. Learning to "lead with empathy" is a master secret to improving relationships inside and outside of the family. It's amazing but only if it is sincere.

Practicing this skill in my home and work environemt has taught me a huge lesson. I can use fewer words (and need to) and communicate so much more by listening and responding with a sincere empathetic phrase. I might never solve a problem but still have a better relationship with my husband, children, and coworkers by leading with empathy. The Love and Logic model suggests that parent's find one phrase that works for them and use that one consistently. Some people use phrases like "Bummer!" "Rats!" or "That's never good!"

I know this can sound "canned" but there's more to the process. For example, empathy should always preceed consequences. Hang in there for more postings or go to http://www.loveandlogic.com/ and order the book or CD set "Parenting with Love and Logic Parent." or call 1 800 338 4065.

Just so you know... these folks do not pay me and I get no benefit from recommending them. You should also know I do not represent them. I just value them.

Take care.

F.Y.I. If you live in the metro east area of St. Louis, the church I serve, Zion Lutheran Church, has Love and Logic parenting classes on our campus. They are open to everyone. We're at 1810 McClintock Ave, Belleville, IL 62221. (618-233-2299) New classes start the week of September 14.

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