It’s common to have problems with your work or at work place or in your life or even at large, in the society. And let me tell you that, “When there is a problem, there is an opportunity”.
When you share your problems, you usually get sympathy. This may make you feel a bit better at that moment. Sympathy according to me is like dangerous drugs which make you feel off your load momentarily, but then it slowly kill your growth. If you are passionate about solving the problem, look for empathy and not for sympathy.
“Passion needs SUPPORT not sympathy” – Naveen Lakkur
Let me illustrate the difference between sympathy and empathy with examples:
A baby may stumble and fall while learning to walk. By feeling sad for the baby’s fall and carrying the baby is sympathizing. Instead of carrying the child if we understand what the baby wants to achieve and then extend our hand for support and help the baby walk, is empathizing.
If a sculptor sympathizes with a stone it would always remain a dead object; if the sculptor empathizes, then there is life added to this stone with the stroke of a chisel transforming it into an idol to be admired and worshiped.
Leaders and Managers empathize with their people.
image courtesy: hbr.org