"Empathy is really important. Only when our clever brain and our human heart work together in harmony can we achieve our full potential."

- Jane Goodell

"Empathy is a must," said the CEO of a sustainable coffee purveyor when I recently asked him about what it takes to be a Conscientious Leader. "It's hard to be accountable when you're not empathetic."

Yes, I said to myself, there's no question about it in my mind.

But I'll take that idea a step further and say it's equally the case for conscientious communication. If you cannot be empathetic with the receiver of your message, you cannot communicate effectively with her.

There will be no resonance.

No piercing of the heart.

No feeling in the soul.

It's a simple formula: no understanding equals no resonance.

Which means you must really find a way to "feel what your audience is feeling."

But how do you do that?

Well, you start by using what great communicators have called upon since the dawn of mankind.

Your ears.

You listen. With undivided attention. Without judgment.

You ask questions.

And you listen some more. With undivided attention. Without judgment.

Only by hearing what's going on inside another human being can you begin to understand her heart.

All of which means that to communicate with resonance you must always start with empathy.

And that begins with your ears.