EMPATHY is the ability to recognize, understand, and respond to the thoughts and feelings (and fears) of others. It involves experiencing other perspectives, rather than just one’s own, and enables prosocial or helping behaviors that come from within, rather than being forced.

It includes people feeling valued, acknowledged and listened to.

THE FEAR FACTOR linked to empathy is the fear of judgement. The fear of judgement and not being understood can be stimulated when others have a high degree of self-orientation and don’t take the time to actively listen or understand others.



Humility. The ability to reduce self-oriented attitudes and behaviours is the first step to understanding and connecting with others.


Collaboration. Effective collaboration is about setting each other up for success, it requires seeking a diversity of perspectives that together in a safe space where people share ideas without fear of judgment.


Vulnerability. In order to connect with others feelings, managers have know that feeling which can make them feel vulnerable. By showing others their vulnerabilities and fears, managers demonstrate empathy to their teams and, in turn, encourage them to become more empathetic.


Listening. The listening organisation goes beyond implementing a whistleblower policy. It has more proactive “listening posts” that give employees a voice to inform decision making and make employees feel understood and valued.