In Their Shoes: Developing Empathy

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This morning I had the great privilege of going to the dentist for a root canal. This is something I've been putting off for about four or five weeks. (I don't know if I'd been putting it off. I guess I scheduled it.) I've just been dreading it for four or five weeks, and today was the day. Now I don't know what you're like in the dentist chair, but I feel like I'm a pretty brave guy until it comes to that dentist chair and that drill. So I made the mistake of researching what people think online about root canals. I read everything from, it's a piece of cake to it was the most horrific experience of my life. At the end of the day, I made it. I dreaded it, and it was tough. I found myself in the chair, like white knuckling it, but I made it.

I came home, and I told Beth that I now had empathy for her when she's on airplanes. Because if there's one time where Beth really gets anxious, it's on airplanes. When she's up in the air, she gets anxiety. She tells me all these strategies she has for making it to our destination.

You know, empathy is such an important skill for every one of us. If you're a pastor, if you're a parent, if you're in sales, if you're in service, whatever it is you do day after day, empathy is an essential skill that you need to develop in your life. By empathy, I mean putting yourself in the shoes of another. If you're in sales, you need to understand your customers, what they need, how much are they willing to spend, and how can you best serve them. If you're in service, you need to be empathetic because you need to understand what your customer is experiencing and the road they are walking on. Whatever you do, you need empathy. Empathy will really make or break you in your life, but you've got to slow down and really put yourself in the shoes of your children, your spouse, your pastor, and your customers.

Your #1 fan,


Ryan Frank