Companion in Tribulation

Helping others is an art and a science. If you solve someone's problems without providing them with the tools to solve them in the future, you risk creating a dependency. If you impose solutions that don't match the true need, you risk creating future imbalances. If you act without understanding, your efforts will be hit …

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The Right Door

“You never know till you try to reach them how accessible men are; but you must approach each man by the right door.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher Office dynamics are fascinating. Put a bunch of unrelated people together in a pressure cooker environment and you have a recipe for a complex blend of interpersonal relationships. …

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Concordance

Disagreement doesn’t always imply dislike and it needn’t ever devolve into hatred. Disagreement is nothing more that the lack of concordance. In musical terms, “concord” is defined as a stable, harmonious combination of tones; a chord requiring no resolution. Isn’t the same true where you have a disagreement with another? Your pattern with another’s thoughts …

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Dehumanization in Medicine

Humanism is the foundation of medicine. This sacred art is altruistic at its core and those drawn to the field of medicine are among the most caring and empathetic people I've had the privilege to meet. A number of longitudinal studies of physicians show that their empathy is at its peak in the early days …

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Anticipatory Service

In a recent company meeting my team and I discussed the means by which we can work together to provide exemplary service to our clients. One of the many ideas that emerged centered around the concept of anticipatory service, a phrase that I discovered while reviewing the Ritz-Carlton Gold Standards. Anticipatory service cannot be scripted, …

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Aha! Moment

Never underestimate the power of realization. During my riding (horse) lesson on Sunday my trainer and I worked on gymnastic exercises designed to increase flexibility, strength and lightness. Both my horse and I had taken time off due to injuries, so we were both starting back up  at levels lower than we had left off. …

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Empathy: A Cure for Self-righteous Rage?

Empathetic capacity is one of man's greatest gifts. Whatever its provenance, the ability to empathize is one of the central tools necessary for creative living. As a father, I am deeply concerned that we find ways to encourage the development of this capacity in our youth, for their sake and for the sake of the …

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The Role of Empathy in the 21st Century

Whether or not you are religiously inclined, the statement purportedly spoken 2,000 years ago by a man whose worldview spawned a number of organized religions including Christianity - "Judge not that ye be not judged" - is worthy of deep consideration. Judgment, the arch-rival of empathy, is an insidious and pernicious human invention. The millennium-and-a-half …

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To Empathize is to Civilize

Yesterday I touched very briefly on the matter of empathy and I would like to take a short walk with you down that road to discover the influence this fundamental human capacity has on your life and the world at large. Recent discoveries in the fields of neuropsychology, brain science and childhood development show that …

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