Michelle Obama recently gave a speech and said that there is an empathy deficit among many people in power in our country. I feel that truth in my bones. Empathy is something so primal, yet so hard to achieve.
Mimi Nicklin is an author and podcaster who has dedicated her life to driving the conversation around empathy into the world. She is the author of Softening the Edge, a book all about empathy and how humanity’s oldest leadership trait is changing our world. Mimi believes that the ability to connect authentically with others has the power to shape not only our business environments but every part of our lives.
In our conversation, Mimi and I talked all about what empathy is, what it isn’t, and how we can actually put it into practice at work.
Many of us work in environments that don’t operate on empathy. Corporate culture has become one that is non-stop. So I asked Mimi what those who find themselves in an environment like that can do to make a change?
She said, “Yes, you can’t control your corporate culture, perhaps especially if you’re in a very large organization. You can’t necessarily change your office hours or any of those things that you were just referencing, but as a human being, as a person on the planet, you can control the relationships you build in your microcosms, the people around you.”
Even if you’re making small wins and increasing empathy in a small microcosm, you will begin to make a change. Eventually, if you can lead with empathy and encourage that in others, you will impact many more people than just your small team.
I’m talking about these topics—and more on the life-changing power of empathy— in my weekly newsletter. I’m also sharing a video to help you think about your week ahead. You can sign up here.