10 years ago,
realized empathy with herself
that all this time
she had unconsciously assumed
she had to do what she felt
was not worth doing,
to make others happy.
once she felt
she was given permission
to stop doing these things,
those around her
She behaved toward them
less out of the resentment
from doing so many things
out of obligation.
happens in leadership.
Some founders I coach
started out thinking
it was their responsibility
to make everyone around them
A tall order.
because behaviors arising
from the tension they held
from that very sense
to the unhappiness
of those around them.
But they needed permission
to invest the time and effort
to manage their own tension.
Because it felt selfish
to do so.
“to be strong.”
is not a permission
to be selfish.
It is an invitation
to journey into
and creative process
to be the best support
we possibly can
for each other.
Still a tall order,
When we, as founders,
work to fertilize a new culture in our organization,
3 emotions often rise up in ourselves and in our team:
When we don’t spend the time
to realize empathy in relation to these emotions,
they easily develop into:
Which, over time, calcify as:
When we, as parents, hyper-empathize with our children,
The children’s lives feel like our own.
When we, as founders, hyper-empathize with our companies,
the companies’ lives feel like our own.
So much so that we’re willing to sacrifice our health to keep them alive.
Sacrificing our health to keep our company alive
Can produce behaviors critical to the well-being of our company
In its early stages of development.
But as our company develops—as do our children—
Some of our “sacrificial” behaviors born out of care
Can also stifle its development,
Not to mention fuel our frustration, resentment, and disappointment,
As we can’t help but take everything personally,
When we hyper-empathize.
Designers have worked with resistance since the dawn of time.
The first caveman who drew on cave walls
were met with resistance from those walls
and leveraged it as the very means through which they created.
Whenever someone behaves in ways we interpret as “resistance,”
all it means is we’re struggling to create.
What human interaction designers do with resistance
is leverage it as the very means through which we create.
Until we learn this art,
we’ll feel nothing but frustration & resentment
in our attempt to bring about innovation in our interactions & organizations.
Guess what lies at the heart of this art?
Our willingness & ability to realize our empathy.