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What Would a More Empathetic World Look Like?

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On a recent trip home to India,

I was helping my Dad with something on his computer.

He’s older now and not as quick, so he instantly started apologizing over and over again for not getting it, for taking up my time and for bothering me with “this kind of thing”.

I would’ve taken all day with him to do whatever he needed help with,

but here he was trying not to be a bother.

My heart broke with empathy, tears running down my cheeks.

I would’ve done anything so that he didn’t feel useless, old, or slow.

As we worked to solve the problem, I made sure the process made him feel encouraged and capable and that he was worth the time because not too long ago, he used to be the one helping me.

As a kid, I’d be freaking out about how I was ever going to cover all the study material and be ready for an exam in time, and he would meticulously spread out the syllabus topics, divide them into steps and create a perfectly-timed and sustainable study schedule. He slowed down so that I could learn, and now here he was asking me to do the same.

It was such a clear example of how empathy – how getting into the shoes of someone else and being present in their experience – can alter our lives. It can affect how we learn, how we grow and what we become.

Empathy doesn’t ask people to change or not feel how they feel.

It stays with them as we walk alongside them.

So the question is:

How much empathy is present in your life and, more specifically, in your work?

Take a quick tally and consider these three questions:

  1. What would it look like for you to approach your co-workers, teams, interns, assistants, bosses, boards – everyone – with more empathy?
  2. Can you make yourself more available so pain, embarrassment, or frustration aren’t amplified or skipped over, but resolved and addressed before whatever you need to get done?
  3. How could slowing down to be with others and how they’re feeling, what they’re struggling with, or where they’re stuck improve your work, teams, and company?


This isn’t always realistic, but how impactful would it be if empathy increased just a little?

Imagine that.

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Pooja Dang is a Women’s Executive Leadership Coach based in the San Francisco Bay Area, serving clients globally at companies such as Google, GoPro, Dropbox, and more. With over 15 years of experience in coaching, advising, and propelling women towards rapid career advancement and promotion, she specializes in high-impact workshops and dynamic 1:1 coaching, delivering breakthrough outcomes and accelerated change. Pooja has a proven track record of coaching women into the C-suite and is a trusted expert in growing executive presence, expanding influence, high-stakes negotiations, and leadership development. Using proven scientific strategies, transformative behavior tools, and a no-BS approach, Pooja is on a mission to empower more women to live confidently at the top of their game. Book your free consultation today. #ExecutiveCoach #LeadershipDevelopment #WomenInLeadership #BehaviorChange #CsuiteCoaching


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