What You Can Do To Care More!

Caring
I recently started another one of my 12-week Women’s Empowerment Groups. During the first group I spend a significant amount of time talking about how to create a safe environment for this new forming group. An acronym I have used for years to assist me in this process is C.A.R.E. This stands for: Consider Others, Attentive Listening, Receptive Attitude and Encouragement.

The first aspect of C.A.R.E is Consider Others. It can often be clear what one wants, needs, believes, etc. And sometimes you can forget the others perspective or feelings. It is about expanding your sensitivity beyond yourselves in a positive way. It is about being aware of those around you and how your presentation, conversation or behavior may affect them. It is not oversensitivity; it is more of a consciousness of the other. This is not compromising yourself, it is just an awareness that you choose to pay attention to.

The next aspect is Attentive Listening. This is more than just going through the motions of looking like you are listening while you are really vying for your turn to share your viewpoint. Attentive listening is when you do your best to try and understand what the other is sharing. Not putting your own twist on it or passing judgment, but simple trying to understand it from their perspective. It is a wonderful gift to be heard. Attentive listening keeps the focus on what that person is saying until their thought process is complete.

Next, is Receptive Attitude. This is similar to be open-minded in the sense that you are being open to the other even if the other is different than you. Instead of passing judgment on the difference, you are receptive; open to this difference. You don’t feel the urge to have to correct or change the other. Ideally, it would be great if you were able to even find this new perspective interesting. It is easy to be receptive to others that view things the same as you do. It is much more of a challenge to be receptive and respectful to someone who shares a different opinion or viewpoint.

Lastly, is Encouragement. Most of you know what the word encouragement means. I think it is one of the most beautiful words. If we could all practice giving more encouragement to those around us the world would be a much lovelier place. It seems to be so easy to focus on the negative; or on what needs to be different. What would it be like for you to be conscious on a daily basis of being more encouraging to those around you? Try it; it might just encourage you too!

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