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  • Writer's pictureCris Gladly

Why Empathy Is Often NOT The Best Place To Start

I know "empathy" is a trendy topic in people development, but I've made it no secret that I do NOT think empathy or compassion are the place to start to improve connection and communication.


Because I'm a big believer in being HONEST about our emotions, and the truth is ... there will always be people we like and people we dislike at work. People we connect with, and people we just DON'T.

Compassion and empathy are not emotions we can force.

We have to honestly 'care' on some level to feel either emotion authentically ... and, let's be real: there are some people you just won't ever care about that way. And that's OK.

Instead, I encourage people to start with CIVILITY.

Civility is a not an emotion; it's a pragmatic choice based on the logical realization that treating others with a basic level of respect and consideration -- regardless of how you feel about them personally -- helps the larger system (i.e. team, company, etc) work more effectively and efficiently = everyone wins.

Don't get me wrong: compassion and empathy are GREAT when they occur authentically. But authentic emotions sometimes need time and space to develop ... especially among colleagues.

Meanwhile, we can choose CIVILITY every single day (and in every interaction) to keep communication open and positive progress on track.

[IMAGE: pinterest]

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