What happens when empathy isn’t enough? Today we discuss what perspective-taking looks like and when to apply it.
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Good day and welcome to the leading with nice daily. My name is Mathieu Yuill, And this week we’re looking at leadership and empathy. So back in the 1950s, this thing happened where a guy named John Howard Griffin, a white guy from Texas, he wanted to know what it was like to live as an African American. So in the 50s, he darkened his skin and he lived as a black man and he wrote a book called black like me. The reason he did it was this, he wrote on the first page, how else except by becoming a Negro, could a white man hope to learn the truth? And while that language is like way out of date for a 2020, what he was really after was true understanding. Now this is a guy that did it in Texas of all places during Jim crow’s America.
So I read this book to kind of get a perspective on empathy. I thought that was his main driver. And what I discovered out of this was that sometimes empathy just simply isn’t enough. Now empathy is great. It helps you understand and allows you to really feel somebody else’s emotions to truly be in their space. But what sometimes is needed is perspective-taking. And that is to actually like sit in someone else’s seat, be in their shoes, look through their eyes at a situation. And sometimes that situation is you put in a hardship on them unintentionally or intentionally. So Well, empathy is so great and you definitely need to develop it. Sometimes that bit of perspective-taking is what is also needed. Now you don’t have any, John Howard Griffin homework style tonight, but your, your homework is this to consider someone, you could sit in their shoes sitting in their seat and look at life through their eyes and just consider that for more on this topic, visit leadingwithnice.com where we want to help you inspire others, build loyalty and get results. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.