The Importance of Empathy…and Turning It Into Action

It takes more than just having empathy to cause change…especially when advocating for change can cost you everything you have. But here is one step to help you start.

I have found this post to bring up some rather interesting points. Empathy is important not only for our work, but for our community and for our world. I use empathy on every Software Conversion project I lead because it is such a powerful tool to aid in the successful completion of the project, especially during those projects where I can tell that the client has not given a thought to the Change Management they should be engaging in to help the conversion stick. Likewise I have seen many conversions take big hits when empathy is not employed.

Empathy is also vital to our community. Looking at our divided politics and divided culture at the moment, I think it is clear that as a society we are suffering from a lack of empathy. I don’t know how to convince people to care about what other people are going through, but I do know that if we were more empathetic, it would go a long way towards healing the divides which threaten to tear apart not only our democracy, but our society as well. Individualism taken to the extremes guarantees the failure of a country or a society, and I fear that is where we are headed.

I am not surprised that it takes more than just feeling empathy for someone to make change happen. We may empathize with the women who are coming forward to talk about how they were sexually abused and harassed in Hollywood, Silicon Valley and a workplace near you…but would you say anything if you walked into the break room one day and saw a superior harassing a female colleague? If you saw a group of people harassing or being violent towards a Muslim woman wearing a hijab, would you intervene? There is a big gulf between empathy and action.

The mental exercise offered in this article could be the key to moving you to action.

Leading psychologist Daniel Goleman explains why empathy alone rarely leads to action–and proposes a simple meditation exercise to change that. This story reflects the views of this author, but not necessarily the editorial position of Fast Company.Read

Full Story via Actually, We Don’t Need More Empathy — Fast Company

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