Employing Empathy To Drive Social Change

Reposted from Forbes:

“While we understand that empathy is the cornerstone of emotional and social intelligence, many people don’t see it as related to their own ability to be effective. To the contrary, the expression of empathy is often thought of as something that primarily benefits others.

What has been less well understood, despite a growing interest in the topic, are the ways in which empathy can be of significant benefit to you and others. This is especially true if you work on any of the many issues related to today’s pressing challenges to our economic, environmental, and societal well being—from unemployment and poor government leadership to rising healthcare costs and global warming.

But for the practice of empathy to be effective – in business, education, or social entrepreneurship – it’s important to conceive of it not as a “soft, flattering, hand-holding” sentiment but, in the words of Ta-Nehisi Coates, as a “muscular empathy rooted in curiosity.”

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