Grainy photo of actor Anna Deveare Smith on a stage with other scattered around.

Notes on empathetic leadership

I attended a masterclass on ’empathetic leadership’ last month. I wanted to save a few notes for myself.

Throughout the day, I kept thinking: empathy is knowing we are rarely the versions of ourselves we want to be.

Here are a few points I’d like to remember:

  • Have an empathetic imagination, in which you can consider someone’s unique struggle while recognizing you can’t know someone else’s plight.
  • “The responsibility of the I” is an idea for actors that can follow for writers and leaders that you can’t judge when you’re taking on someone else’s story.
  • “Civic infrastructure” is a phrase that came to my mind: what are all the elements that allow and support a civic culture in a place?
  • The entire session felt likeĀ  the opposite of Twitter, in which people made mistakes and it was OK.