Book: Applied Empathy

51gmvi8jqKL“Applied Empathy: The New Language of Leadership” By Michael Ventura

  • “Empathy is about understanding. Empathy lets us see the world from other points of view and helps us from insights that can lead us to new and better ways of thinking, being, and doing,”
  • “For example, if I would to take ‘How can I build a better product for our customers?’ I might consider:
    * My own perspective
    * My customers’ perspective
    * My competitors’ perspective”
  • “The Sage represents wisdom and the ability to be fully in the moment, sensing truths about the mind, body, and surrounding space, examining what is brought into the moment and what is meant to be taken away. Look to the Sage when a situation becomes untethered from the present and disconnected from reality.”
  • “The Inquirer is one part reporter, another part therapist. This archetype challenge preconceived notions and pushes for deeper, more authentic truths Inquirers neglect small talk in favor of ‘big’ talk: deep questions that demand contemplate responses.”
  • “The consummate host, the Convener understands the importance of space and space holding Recognizing that every detail is critical, the Convener creates a purposeful, appropriate setting for the work at hand. The space we share is an active member of the experience. The Convener anticipates what you need before you do and brings the space surrounding you to life.”
  • “Never afraid to fail in the pursuit of knowledge, the Alchemist tests everything, confident that the best work comes only from countless hours of experimentation The Alchemist is curious persistent, and patient, takes a chance on a new approach, and closely studies the results. Turn to the Alchemist when the only path to a solution lies through the brambles of resistance.”
  • “Your trusted ally, the Confidant hears to listen–instead of simultaneously planning what to say next,. The Confidant embodies stillness; listens, observes, and absorbs. Keeping what you hear safe on behalf of another is what gives them a sense of integrity and strength. Look to the Confidant when asked for advice or when others need to share something of importance. The Confidant provides emotional security and comfort.”
  • “A boundless explorer, the Seeker bravely sets out on new adventures. The Seeker lives outside his or her comfort zone, acts with confidence and self-assurance. Embody the Seeker when embracing new experiences and daunting challenges, knowing that unfettering your pursuits will eventually lead you to the answer. “
  • “The cultivator is committed to developing ideas and is intentional about every action. Through the Cultivator you can connect everything you do to the development and maintenance of your thoughts and work. When something feels daunting and protracted, look to the Cultivator to provide perspective and leadership. Naturally gifted at seeing the greater purpose, the Cultivator knows what it takes to reap what he or she has sown.”
  • “The first to consider is the Physical Self, which helps us explore the power of our presence and experience the environment around us.”
  • “Next is our Emotional Self, which connects us to our personal needs and our inner voice, giving us a means to achieve greater understanding and self-knowledge. This self helps us understand our biases, our fears, and our self-imposed limitationss and constrictions.”
  • “The Inspired Self is the spark that ignites the inherent desire to make, to do, and to solve.”
  • “Think about a time you’ve set a goal for yourself, then acted upon it and accomplished it.”
  • “This is the Community Self, and it helps us understand how our individual self interacts with the world around us.”
  • “One way we can make such changes is to being to engage with the Intellectual Self. This is the self that asks questions both old and new, micro and macro, universal and specific, to help us get a grasp on our perspective and communicate it effectively.”
  • “The Intellectual Self helps put our emotions and senses into concepts and words that help us understand what’s going on inside us and relate more effectively to those around us.”
  • “This is the nature of the Mindful Self. This is self’s primary function is to raise our consciousness for the present moment, our relationship with the world around us in this moment, and our place in it.”
  • “For me, they come together in an awareness of our Aspirational Self. Some might call this our purpose.”
  • “After breathing, conduct a ‘body scan,’ moving your attention slowly to different parts of your body. For example, when you bring your attention to your feet, don’t just feel your feet, but feel everything about your feet.”
  • “Check in with yourself and ask what emotion you most commonly feel at work / at home / at all times–whatever setting is relevant to you.”
  • “It’s possible you could discover that this is a persistent emotion you don’t want controlling your life. Or perhaps it may become clear that there is a trigger (a person, a thing, a circumstance, etc.) that causes this emotion to arise within you. Understanding your emotions and what gives rise to them will ultimately help you manage them more acutely.”
  • “To begin, recall a moment when you felt truly inspired. Perhaps it was when you heard someone deliver a pep talk that lit a fire within you.”
  • “Ask yourself what about this particular moment brought such inspiration to you.”
  • “Once you’ve grasped the elements of this experience, try to determine the aspects of it that you can re-create in order to reignite inspiration.”
  • “Taking the time to consider the people around you and the dynamics that cause them to be prominent in your life will undoubtedly present you with powerful insights to help you understand how key part of your Whole Self interacts with the world around you.”
  • “Top-down organizations often benefit from the efficiencies of having only a few decision makers. But they can also struggle with low employee engagement and morale if individuals feel they have no real influence or senses of agency.”
  • “These [bottom-up] organizations sometimes cultivate stronger, more inclusive culture, but they can also struggle with too much information coming into the system, putting senior leaders into a state of ‘analysis paralysis’–unsure of what to do and where to go based on mixed or divergent feedback.”
  • “As a company grows and head count swells, the old culture of decision by committee may still be seen as democratic and ‘millennial-minded,’ but too much of it can destroy a team’s ability to make any real decisions.”
  • “Change is inevitable. By being aware of it and embracing it with openness and empathy, we can calibrate our strategy quickly and effectively in order to meet the needs of the business.”
  • “that every player is different and good coaching depends on being able to pivot from one style in order to get the most out of all of them.”
  • “Often a lack of empathy leads organizations to seek out solutions that don’t entirely fit their needs. But they can get so caught up i their own business that they fail to see the bigger picture. Ultimately, applying empathy to our leadership style and our overall business can help us see challenges from new and diverse perspectives.”
  • “But we don’t use the traditional ‘us-versus-them’ approach so common in our trade. Instead, we look at the problem through the lens of ‘we’ and use words all of us understand:
    * Conversations
    * Behaviors
    * Relationships
    * Memories”
  • “My best mentors never forced their dogma or views onto me. Instead, they listened intently. They were curious. They worked hard to understand me and find out what I was going through.”
  • “to give others the opportunity to share their perception of what they see going on.”
  • “Curiosity is essential. It does for empathy the same thing that sunlight and rain do for plants. It feeds empathy.”
  • “Empathy requires unvarnished honesty with yourself and those around you. And it needs to receive honesty in return.”
  • “Vulnerability comes from having the strength to know our flaws and own them when necessary. When you do this, people are able to see you for who you truly are, which gives them the confidence to share their own imperfections with you.”
  • “Empathy sometimes requires selflessness.”
  • “But bravery isn’t as hard to develop as you might think. It is almost assuredly a side effect of applying empathy, in that it involves creating the space where our skills and gifts, and those of others, can be better known. This is what gives us the courage to be brave–knowing we are supported by a deeper awareness of ourselves and the world around us.”

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