At our first session,
she would habitually use the word “strong”
to refer to herself.
“To be strong,”
Stop worrying and,
Focus on problem solving.
Stop blaming my employees and,
On the surface,
these sounded wonderful,
But after a month
of realizing empathy with herself,
that by “strong”
all she meant
was “numb to pain & discomfort.”
There’s a world of difference
between following advice
and realizing for one’s self
by leading through a journey of innovation.
Without the journey,
can merely mean “repress stress & anxiety.”
“Focus on problem solving,”
can merely mean “focus on eliminating fear & concern.”
can merely mean “lead with unconscious shame.”
To frame this phenomena
as someone’s “fault”
prevents a deeper exploration.
One of the most common block to insight
To realize empathy with cynicism
it can be useful to model it
as doubt + judgment.
This implies that
once we strip our cynicism of judgment,
we can more clearly confront our doubt.
Then as we develop the requisite skill and will
to zoom into our doubt,
it can lead to the discovery
of our worry or concern,
over a future we do not wish to see happen.
When we can clearly see and hear
this undesired future
we can also increase the probability
of realizing empathy,
which ultimately helps us create choices,
the kind that gives us a feeling of possibility
beyond the horizon of cynicism,
which is a key
to designing toward a future
we do wish to see happen,
instead of staying stuck
unconsciously envisioning a future
we do not wish to see happen.
When we, as founders—
especially those with humane intentions—
work to fertilize change in our organizations,
3 types of emotions often rise up
When we don’t spend the time
to realize empathy with ourselves
in relation to these emotions,
these can easily develop into:
Which, over time, can calcify as: