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