Will you go first?

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Here’s a pattern I’ve observed repeatedly in my work.

If we think someone “lacks empathy”,
chances are good they think the same about us.

CEO thinks employees lack empathy.
Employee thinks CEO lacks empathy.

Doctor thinks patients lack empathy.
Patient thinks doctor lacks empathy.

Consultant thinks client lacks empathy.
Client thinks consultant lacks empathy.

Husband thinks wife lacks empathy.
Wife thinks husband lacks empathy.

It’s always the “other” that lacks empathy.

The challenge of leadership is to realize empathy first
instead of expecting others to do so.
And by “realize empathy,” I don’t mean be nice, kind, or altruistic.
I mean be willing & able to create unexpected meaning, value, form, and identity
through conversation.

Difficult, but possible through guided practice.