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Civility is a big topic in America today.

Human beings are diverse and unique in nature and created to be as such. This is proven as evidenced by the fact that in 7.3 billion people currently on the planet, no one else has your fingerprints, as well as other unique identifiers. This phenomenon goes even further as it also includes all of the millions of people that have lived in the past, and all the millions of people yet to come. None have had, have or will ever have your identification, it is unique to you! Not then, not now and never again will someone be just like you! This unique identity is your distinct competitive advantage.

Along with that individuality comes independent thoughts and opinions. Etiquette does not give advice on who is right or wrong, but rather shows respect to both.  One way to do that is to have empathy as a form of respect for someone.

Empathy is part of the skill of listening and does not mean I have to take a side, make a decision, agree or disagree. It simply means I can let you say how you feel, and I am not required to do anything.

I can say thank you for sharing that thought. I do not know if I agree or disagree, or I do not know how I feel, or I am not ready to make a decision, or I do not have all the information to make a choice…but thank you for sharing how you feel. That’s all!!

If we understand the skill of empathy, we can provide people the respect for them to have their own opinion. When we give people respect in this way, we give them value. Not that we have to go with their idea, but they were allowed to express their thoughts and were listened to. This is important as we understand the number one reason people leave organizations is that they did not feel valued.

True leaders have empathy.  They have to know how their team feels.  They do not have to agree, disagree or take a side, but they need to know and show value to all, by showing respect.

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