Cultivating empathy…

This is my concluding post on empathy. It’s a subject that has been on my mind a lot as I keep seeing how desperately we need more empathy in this world—and as I’ve become aware that there is room for increasing it in myself.

Two types of empathy…

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Empathy at work…

Last week we heard Simon Sinek speak about empathy in the workplace, and how empathetic leadership is essential for workers to thrive.

Empathy is also related to business in another way—through the output of business, the products and services we buy. The satisfaction we derive from these products and services is greater when the designers put themselves in our shoes before production begins.

That is a common definition of empathy—walking in someone else’s shoes, seeing through their eyes—more formally referred to as perspective-taking.

Industrial Design

Industrial design is an example of empathy at work. Continue reading

The prison of your mind…

Living through a pandemic is challenging us all, in one way or another, especially in the days of lockdown when there were very few acceptable reasons for leaving our homes. In the midst of that, many were chafing at their loss of freedom even when they knew there were good reasons for this strategy. And even now, when we have more licence to be out and about, it’s a challenge to adapt to ongoing requirements for wearing masks and distancing.

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The courage to see things differently…

As Brené Brown says, this is the time for courage over comfort.

That can be a challenge.

Comfort is so tempting.

Retreating to the familiar makes us feel safe. And that’s what our primal, survival brain wants above all, to keep us safe.

Where do we find comfort?

Comfort can be found in something as tangible as a food that your grandma used to make or as intangible as your viewpoint on how the world works. Continue reading

Moral fatigue…

When COVID hit my community, I first felt discombobulated. That seemed perfectly understandable.

But three months in, I was experiencing a deep sense of fatigue. That surprised me because I thought I should be feeling better, not worse, once I knew the protocols and developed new habits. But there I was—feeling out of sorts and profoundly tired of the whole thing.

Apparently I wasn’t the only one. In the midst of my wallowing in that unhappy place, I heard an episode of Tapestry that directly addressed what I was feeling. They were discussing the experience of moral fatigue that arises when we are faced with making decisions where there are no right answers and yet we can’t do nothing.

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Unprecedented…

Unprecedented” must be the most over-used word in the English language right now. I’m tired of it. Especially because it’s used so often without thought.

Unprecedented means never done or known before; never having happened or existed in the past. True, the specific COVID variation of the coronavirus is new (hence the name novel coronavirus). But If we’re talking about pandemics, there’s nothing new there. Humans have experienced them throughout recorded history.

Worst pandemics in history…

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