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Some Beliefs

Empathy Killers
Louise Altman,
DECEMBER 5, 2013
"Some beliefs are empathy-killers
I talk about empathy in all the work that I do. In discussions about empathy in the workplace people often claim “my co-workers just don’t have any empathy.” These are statements of belief – not facts. What my workplace discussions often reveal is how much people act on those beliefs without any question or attempt to substantiate their claims. Ample scientific research has shown that we’re “hard-wired” for empathy. Without it, we could not engage in successful social cooperation – essential to our survival. While some of us may have developed more or less of it as young children, the roots of empathy are present, even if dormant.

I consider empathy to be an enabling emotion – a door-opener to allowing deeper feelings to emerge – compassion, love, sadness and grief. Allowing, even inviting empathy to our emotional table is often a powerful motivator for kindness and acts of caring. Empathy is our key to opening to a bigger and far more complex world than many of our obstructive beliefs will allow."