What is Empathy? And Why Does it Get Such A Bad Rap?

Empathy… Politicians crave it.  Potential US Supreme Court Justices are excoriated if they have it.  Some business leaders see it as the path to greater employee or customer engagement.  Other leaders believe it is “squishy” or soft. Most of us think we are empathetic, yet few of us can really define it. So, what is [...]

Two Old Soldiers – A Display of Empathy

The date is April 9, 1865.  The place is Appomattox Court House, Virginia. The Civil War is finally over. More than 620,000 have died.  Many more were wounded.  Families have been ripped apart.  Homes destroyed.  Lives changed forever. Could this be a time for empathy? Could the Union and Confederate armies move beyond their massive [...]

Empathy vs. Sympathy – One Coin… Two Sides

Are empathy and sympathy the same thing? Many of us use these words interchangeably… Are they equivalent? No, not really. Sympathy is sadness or sorrow you feel “for” someone else. It is an emotion “you” are feeling.  It generally starts with “I.”  “I’m sorry for your loss.”  “I feel for you.”  “I feel badly you [...]

Empathy – How You Can Develop It

If you believe that empathy is essential for leadership greatness, how do you build or develop your empathy skills? The good news is that we are all “hard-wired” for empathy.  It’s in our genes. Many neurobiologists now believe that emotions like loyalty… compassion… and empathy are deeply rooted in our limbic system.  Empathy, in other [...]