SamTastic Weekly Tip: March 22, 2021   This week’s tip: Focus on empathy.  This has been a tough year and we are not done yet.  
Spring is in the air and there are reasons to be optimistic.  Now is the perfect time for school leaders to double down on empathy.  Staff, students and parents need to know you understand and share their feelings.  Empathy is not being “nice”.  It is being a thoughtful listener who shows appreciation for others by seeking to understand and support.   How you interact makes a difference.  Look at the chart, below:
– “I understand” versus “Help me understand”
– “I know how you feel” versus “I’m listening, and I hear you saying [X]”
– “I’m right there with you” versus “I want to be there to support you”
  Which is your normal response?    The first is what writer Bill Murphy labels a parallel response.  The latter is what he calls a convergent response.  Murphy states:  
Parallel responses are ones that suggest that you believe your process of achieving empathy is complete, on the basis of something else you’ve brought to the interaction (often, past experience).
Convergent responses suggest that you believe the process of achieving empathy is incomplete, but that you want to work to make it complete (by continuing the discussion and learning more about the other person’s point of view).
  Murphy contends that being empathetic requires practice and work.  You can track the time you spend improving your emotional intelligence by creating a TimeTrack optional descriptor.  (TimeTrack logo ~ Settings ~ Optional Descriptor Set-up)   You can read Murphy’s article on empathy, Call it the Oprah Winfrey rule, at this link:    He also is offering access to his e-book on empathy at this link: