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In a previous blog, I told a story about my father being deaf and how this becomes a superpower for him in business.  (To read more on this back story, please visit “Seeing What People Say”)  I had no idea what a gift my father had given me during my childhood until I became a working adult in a hearing world.  I spent most of my childhood playing on oil stained floors and building things out of nuts, bolts and other parts I found lying around my father’s parts house.  Being a precocious child, I followed him around asking question after question.  How does this work?  What is this for?  What happens when you push this?  One day while attending to my job as the underfoot question asking machine, I followed my father into the mechanics bay.  He closed the hood on the car and laid face down on it.  As soon as he stood back up, an urgent voice asked, “Daddy, why did you lay down on the hood of that car?”  He went into an explanation about how cars are like people; they are living and breathing machines. “I was listening to the car’s heart and lungs by feeling how it vibrates, so I can help fix the car,” was his last words before he turned and went looking for a part.  It was there in our family owned parts store that I discovered my father had another super power.  I know this kind of sounds like the movie Transformers, but I assure you he has not built an alien robot nation.  However, he did at that moment transform my way of seeing the world. 

 

When I got my first car, my father taught me how to take my car’s pulse.  Not to just listen, but feel my way around her.  Today, I drive a car with an encased engine that I choose not to mess with.  When I “feel” something wrong with her, I have a conversation with my service advisor about what I “feel” has happened.  Often the service department will rely on diagnostics to tell them what is wrong with a car, but diagnostics are like lab results in a hospital.  You still need to take the pulse of patient.  Feeling and listening to the car is part of fixing the problem.  With that said, just like a flat tire on a car, there are situations in life that are easy to diagnosis and respond to.  Other experiences in life may be as complicated as discovering the buzzing sounds that keeps coming and going from under the dashboard. 

 

When faced with tough situations, go beyond listening and start feeling.  This super hero power is called empathy.  We live in a world in which it is easy to be disconnected.  Think about it.  How often is your conversations with a family member who does not reside with you happen via text messages or emails?  The art of empathy is often lost in today’s enterprises.  We avoid being in touch with our feelings and truly knowing ourselves as individuals.  When this happens, it becomes difficult to relate to others.  When you add empathy to your toolbox, you have greater access to a direction and resolution for those tough circumstances in life.   

 

Copyright 2011 All Rights Reserved

Views: 21

Tags: Achievement, Empathy, Experience, Growth, Professionalism, Reputation, Selling, Stephanie, Success, Young

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Comment by Stephanie Young on July 27, 2011 at 6:16am
Mr. Kelly, thank you for the compliment.
Comment by Thomas A. Kelly on July 26, 2011 at 4:18pm
Thank You Stephanie.
Comment by Stephanie Young on July 26, 2011 at 1:51pm
Tom, will do.  Sometimes, it is good to be wrong.
Comment by Tom Gorham on July 26, 2011 at 1:43pm

Thank the people who prodded you because you were definitely wrong.  It's a wonderful glimpse into lives that are an inspiration to us all.

 

Comment by Stephanie Young on July 26, 2011 at 1:20pm

Dara, I second that!!!  Thank you for your stunningly true comment.

 

AJ, I think Special Olympic Athletes embody the spirit of teamwork and teammates.  No one lives it all on the field like they do.  Now that is playing with heart!!!

Comment by Aj Maida on July 26, 2011 at 1:14pm
Stephanie, I for one am glad you were "prodded" into sharing this story. Yes empathy is too often ignored in our busy lives. For me I am lucky that we do a lot of charity here at the dealership and our #1 charity is the Special Olympics. The athletes from Special Olympics show me what empathy is all the time in their actions, the way they treat each other and the way they treat those of us who are not as special as they are.
Comment by Dara Moore on July 26, 2011 at 1:03pm
Stephanie thank you for posting this. It is so very true that in our digital society that the human emotion and connection is slowing being removed. It is those that still know how to make that connection that are the rarity anymore.
Comment by Stephanie Young on July 26, 2011 at 12:43pm
Thank you, Tom.  Sometimes we take for granted our blessings in life.  I had to be prodded into sharing this story because I thought it was uninteresting to others.  So glad to see I was wrong.
Comment by Tom Gorham on July 26, 2011 at 11:43am
Stephanie, Truly an amazing and thought-provoking story.  Thank you for sharing it.

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