The Meaning Of Empathy

What does Empathy mean?

Empathy is being present in the moment.
It is feeling that is happening without involving the past or the future.
Empathy is a mirroring an experience of another’s emotions,
whether it be happy or sad joy or sorrow.
It is an energy of the moment- one person with another.
It is a conversation with your eyes, your heart and your soul.
Words are not empathy.
Empathy is a state of being;
you know it as a feeling of being connected one person to another.
Last night a group of brilliant leaders joined in a conversation at #leadfromwithin tweetchat.  

My amazing co host was @tanveesernesser we explored the meaning, essence and traits of empathy.
What I discovered and learned is that EMPATHY has the ability to be defined in many ways.
I have decided to share with you the wisdom, the knowledge and the brilliance of these fine folks.
From my co host:  @TanveerNaseer: It means being aware of & understanding person’s feelings & how that impactstheir perception
@LollyDaskal: Empathy is different from sympathy, as sympathy does not necessarily involve understanding
@lollydaskal: A1: Empathy is the understanding of the emotional state of another individual.
@elincomm: Empathy means an open heart.
@JFeskorn: To have the ability to feel how someone else feels
@StrategicMonk: Empathy is the ability to appreciate things from someone else’s perspective; to feel their feelings
@gldunnjr: Empathy is an awareness or understanding of some1’s pain or frustration
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@dapancost: Empathy is the ability and willingness to put yourself in the other persons shoes, and allow them to impact us
@jesselynstoner: Empathy doesnt mean I know what you are feeling. It means I know how you are feeling
@DrGregWaddell: A4 Empathy comes not fm intellectual pursuits but through expanded experience.
@womanonajourney: The ability to feel what another is feeling.
@Josepf: Key: Empathy does not mean agreement.  Just deeply listening & co-feeling what they feel.
@OPFEnterprises: Understanding

: It matters to care about other p[eople because we must understand our connection to the whole–we do not exist in isolation
@Chriscarroll50 Some people are naturally empathic, others learn it by practice
@KnowledgeBishop Empathy is acquired through trials: One must feel first, in order to “feel for
@scedmonds:empathy means I demonstrate concern for & listen to reach understanding of others ideas & feelings.
@TerriKlass: Empathy is being able to put yourself in someone else’s place.
@2gracinginfinity: Empathy=a deep soulful connection w/someone else’s story b/c u’ve been there or can feel it in ur own heart
@helenantholis: Empathy is the sense of oneness with another
@stevelaswell: Empathy is the ability to see,understand and give grace to another person
@john_paul: Empathy is an innate quality we are born with that empowers us to learn languages, it can be refined and developed.
@GRIT08: Acknowledging your view is round not square it has no corners.
@morrismichellek: When you have empathy, your heart has bigger ears than your head!
@sweetieberry: Empathy is the awareness of feelings and responses from their perspective, that may or may not be your own
@healthyolga: Empathy is the ability to recognize, understand, & appreciate the feelings of others – to put yourself in their shoes.
@UrResumeConsult: The ability to share another’s feelings
@earthliz: Empathetic people ask questions and remember the answers
@Simon_GB: To listen with your heart and hear with your emotions
@Versalytics: Our ability to empathize allows us to respond in a way that is meaningful for that person  
@jpgtx: A1: Intentional attempt to identify/connect/understand as best as possible with another.
@2jimweible: Empathy is the ability to understand the feelings of another. Sympathy is actually feeling the feelings of the other
@PatRobeck1ofHis: Being able to listen to another’s entire story, without interjecting and without offering solutions, unless asked

:  Empathy means to look at every situation with an open mind, and an open heart.
@EdwardColozzi: Empathy=putting urself inside Heart&Mind of another w unconditional love 2 more fully appreciate their world
@jjunebrown: Empathy means feeling with, being with, a unity of self and other. Compassion.
 @heart_path: Empathy enables me to consider another’s perspective; to imagine what they are seeing, feeling, and experiencing.
@Woody_Woodcock: empathy means an authentic attempt at understanding what it might be like to be in someone’s situation
@c3p0tater: a deep emotional understanding of another’s feelings or problems
To read the rest please visit: Transcript The Role of Empathy In Leadership
Tell me what your thoughts are on EMPATHY.

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Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR,, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

  1. Tina Snider

    15. Jun, 2011

    So beautiful. Grateful to have participated and even more grateful to have learned from some inspiring individuals.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Simon Harvey (@Simon_GB)

    15. Jun, 2011

    Lolly you are amazing, if only the rest of the world could tie into your beautiful and graceful heart, we would be at peace.

    Thank you as always for leading with such inspiration, strength and heart. The leadfromwithin group that you have amassed becomes more dynamic each week. It is always such a pleasure to be part of the strong, visionary, and empathic group of leaders. A group that truly leads from within.

    Thank you Lolly, and all #Leadfromwithin folks.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      15. Jun, 2011

      Simon Harvey,

      What can I say….
      But that you are an amazing courageous wonderful heart based leader
      You take your life mission and your passion seriously.,
      You have a heart of gold and your wisdom besides being priceless is poetic.
      YOU are what makes lead from within family amazing.


      Reply to this comment
  3. Helen Antholis

    16. Jun, 2011

    Our empathy discussion is vital to leadership and goodness in the world. Without it, it’s a cruel place.

    Interestingly, Katherine Bouton (NY Times 6/13/11) reviewed a new book considering evil as degrees of empathy (or lack thereof). For those interested in the details, it is called, “The Science of Evil” by Simon Baron-Cohen.

    Thank you to all who contributed to Tuesday’s discussion. It’s a wonderful way to learn from each other.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      31. Jul, 2011

      Thanks for the heads up about “The Science of Evil” by Simon Baron-Cohen.
      You Helen are always amazing. All goodness and heart!

      Reply to this comment
  4. Wayne McEvilly

    17. Jun, 2011

    Your #LeadFromWithin hour has become a priority in my life. Placing all the varying yet unified views of participants together here is a great way to communicate the vitality of your Tuesday evening powwow! I love it.
    Thank you.

    Reply to this comment
  5. JohnnyBoy

    20. Jun, 2011

    Empathy is a wonderful skill that only very special people, it seems have. And for those special people that do have it, they are well known to their friends & family as it is they with the path well worn to their front doors.

    My Grandmother was an amazing woman who empathized with everyone she met and simply understood their pain, grief and joy in one. She was a great communicator.

    Thank you for making me think of her and the happy memories I have for her. She died earlier this year aged 95 after a long and very happy life.


    Reply to this comment
  6. Katherine W Hirsh

    31. Jul, 2011

    I thought I’d share an interesting piece on depression and leadership in the Weekend Wall Street Journal that mentions empathy:

    It is excerpted from Nassir Ghaemi’s new book “A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness.”

    Reply to this comment
  7. Edwin Rutsch

    28. Aug, 2011

    May I suggest a further resource to learn more about empathy and compassion.
    The Center for Building a Culture of Empathy
    The Culture of Empathy website is the largest internet portal for resources and information about the values of empathy and compassion. It contains articles, conferences, definitions, experts, history, interviews,  videos, science and much more about empathy and compassion.

    Also, I invite you to post a link to your article about empathy to our Empathy Center Facebook page.

    Reply to this comment

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