How to Inspire Culture with Empathy and Dialog

Inspired cultures are built by leaders with the ability to empathize with people across their organizations. We work best with people we think understand who we are and why we do what we do. And while empathy and emotional intelligence are buzz words in the human capital industry, do we really understand how to empathize? Is trying to relate to someone the same thing as actually understanding their perspective?   Empathy isn’t an act of imagination – it’s a conversation. Thinking about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes is more akin to sympathy or pity than it is to actually understanding what his struggles are like. “Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge… is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world. It requires profound purpose larger than the self kind of understanding.” ~Bill Bullard I recently gave a lecture to a group of veterans transitioning into civilian life and looking to start their own businesses. It started with me trying to empathize with them. I thanked them for their service.     And while I’ve never been in the service, I told them: “I get it.” Creating a business is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but I can imagine transitioning into civilian life must be tough. Creating a business on top of that… Wow… “I get it.” I never knew my grandfather. He was a tank […]

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