• Empathy

    So what is empathy? It’s understanding how others feel and being compassionate toward them. It happens when two parts of the brain work together, neuroscientists say — the emotional center perceives the feelings of others and the cognitive center tries to understand why they feel that way and how we can be helpful to them. Research has shown that empathy makes people better managers and workers, and better family members and friends. But it’s bigger than just its personal effect. We’re all in this together, and researchers say that connection and compassion are crucial to a sustainable and humane future. 

    Some people are more naturally empathetic than others, but there are easy, evidenced-based exercises that anyone can do to increase their empathy. 

    Try It:

    • Start conversations with strangers or invite a colleague or neighbor you don’t know well to lunch. Go beyond small talk – ask them how they’re doing and what their daily life is like.
    • Follow people on social media with different backgrounds than you have (different race, religion or political persuasion).
    • Put away your phone and other screens when you’re having conversations, even with the people you see every day, so you can fully listen and notice their facial expressions and gestures.