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Kevin & Jackie Freiberg

What is Sonder?

Self and Other Awareness!

Sonder defined: the realization that each random passerby is living a life as complex as your own- populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness- everyone lives their own epic story that continues invisibly around you.

If you want to be a leader, a person of positive influence and impact, you have to be on a lifelong journey of self-discovery and awareness. Without self and other awareness, we lack sonder. Leading with sonder is leading with a deep sense of self-awareness and a deep commitment to empathy and benevolence toward others, qualities every well-loved, liked, and respected leader must model.

Here is what Seth Godin said about sonder in his blog:

That everyone has a noise in their head.

That everyone thinks that they are right, and that they have suffered affronts and disrespect at the hands of others.

That everyone is afraid. And that everyone realizes that they are also lucky.

That everyone has an impulse to make things better, to connect and to contribute.

That everyone wants something that they can’t possibly have. And if they could have it, they’d discover that they didn’t really want it all along.

That everyone is lonely, insecure and a bit of a fraud. And that everyone cares about something.

Sonder might happen to you. When it does, it will help you see the world in a whole new way. Because if you let it, the feeling can persist. A feeling that can allow you to see others the way you’d like to be seen.

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