Empathy doesn’t get its due as the secret to great work and a satisfying life.
One of my mantras when I sit down to work is “Write from their hearts.” The key to any good communication is empathy, it is the most powerful emotion in our line of work. We use the power of empathy to get outside ourselves to see problems and solutions from another perspective.
We start every project by jettisoning our assumptions and listening. Listening is at the core of empathy.
The next part is understanding. Our shared experiences bind us together, and it is these experiences that we must tap into to foster understanding. This is how you start to form connections with someone so different from yourself.
The final componenent is imagination. This is where we take what we’ve learned, what we have absorbed, leave our past self behind and become someone else. Taking this leap with a full heart is the hardest thing to do.
When you do this you can start to understand the feeling of being trapped that comes with the cycle of poverty, you feel the urgency that comes with environmental conservation, you see motivations behind donations, you gain a deeper understanding into why people do what they do.
When you feel empathy you’re truly writing from their heart.