Cumbersome decision-making processes, cognitive biases that favor existing mindsets, and a false sense of the permanence of decisions can all work against leaders’ ability to sense and adapt to rapidly changing realities.
Let's say that some trees have great genes that allow them to live for millennia and grow to be almost as big as skyscrapers, but that because they are so big, they are ideal targets for lumberjacks so they almost all get cut ...
The Neurobiology of “We”. Relationship is the flow of energy and information between people, essential in our development "The study of neuroplasticity is changing the way scientists think about the...
“Relationship is key,” he emphasizes. “When we work with relationship, we work with brain structure. Relationship stimulates us and is essential in our development. People rarely mention relationship in brain studies, but it provides vital input to the brain. Every form of psychotherapy that works, works because it creates healthier brain function and structure.… In approaching our lives, we can ask where do we experience the chaos or rigidity that reveal where integration is impaired.
We can then use the focus of our attention to integrate both our brain and our relationships. Ultimately we can learn to be open in an authentic way to others, and to ourselves. The outcome of such an integrative presence is not only a sense of deep well-being and compassion for ourselves and others, but also an opening of the doors of awareness to a sense of the interdependence of everything. ‘We’ are indeed a part of an interconnected whole.””
Empathy research is thriving these days. Several new books enthusiastically champion an increase in empathy as a cure for humanity’s ills. This enthusiasm may be misplaced, however.
In 2008, Karina Encarnacion, an eight year-old girl from Missouri, wrote to President-elect Barack Obama with some advice about what kind of dog he should get for his daughters. She also suggested that he enforce recycling and ban unnecessary wars. Obama wrote to thank her, and offered some advice of his own: “If you don’t already know what it means, I want you to look up the word ‘empathy’ in the dictionary. I believe we don’t have enough empathy in our world today, and it is up to your generation to change that.
This wasn’t the first time Obama had spoken up for empathy.
When I was a student (once upon a time I thought I was to be a clinical psychologist), and broke, and spending time in New York City (when I decided I was not to be a performing artist, choreographer for my career after all), I used to make extra ...
More and more empathy is being recognized as a ability possessed by great leaders. Yet somehow it remains absent in current educational curriculums. Is this a hinderance to the development of our future great leaders?
From Situationist friend and Harvard Law School 3L, Kate Epstein, an essay about Monday's tragedy:
As I hear reactions to the bombings at the marathon on Monday, I find myself agreeing with Glenn Greenwald’s column inThe Guardian, titled “The Boston bombing produces familiar and revealing reactions: As usual, the limits of selective empathy, the rush to blame Muslims, and the exploitation of fear all instantly emerge.” Particularly interesting to me are our cognitive limits, as humans, when it comes to empathy.
The widespread compassion for yesterday’s victims and the intense anger over the attacks was obviously authentic and thus good to witness. But it was really hard not to find oneself wishing that just a fraction of that compassion and anger be devoted to attacks that the US perpetrates rather than suffers. These are exactly the kinds of horrific, civilian-slaughtering attacks that the US has been bringing to countries in the Muslim world over and over and over again for the last decade, with very little attention paid.
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