COMPASSIONATE LEADERSHIP & 4 Reasons Why Compassion Is Better For Humanity Than Empathy

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: I teach at the doctoral level “transformational leadership.” And transformational leadership is founded upon an understanding that compassionate leadership is needed, in addition to empathetic leadership. Some of the problems facing America today including our propensity toward a cancel culture are because of a confusion between compassion and empathy. Here is an expert on the differences, explaining why it’s important to practice compassionate leadership, not just the empathetic type.

by Rasmus Hougaard, Forbes Magazine, 7/8/20.

Empathy is an important, foundational emotion for human connection. It is the spark that can ignite compassion. But on its own, without compassion, empathy is a danger for leaders. As controversial as this may sound, the reasoning is simple: Empathy is the brain’s wired tendency to identify with those who are close to us – close in proximity, close in familiarity, or close in kinship. And when we empathize with those close to us, those who are not close or are different seem threatening. When unchecked, empathy can create more division than unity.

Empathy and compassion are very different. They are represented in different areas of the brain. With empathy, we join the suffering of others who suffer, but stop short of actually helping. With compassion, we take a step away from the emotion of empathy and ask ourselves ‘how can we help?’. For leaders, recognizing the differences between empathy and compassion is critical for inspiring and managing others effectively. Remember these four main points in responding to your people with compassion instead of empathy.

1. Empathy is impulsive. Compassion is deliberate…

2. Empathy is divisive. Compassion is unifying…

3. Empathy is inert. Compassion is active…

4. Empathy is draining. Compassion is regenerative..,

Read more at … https://www.forbes.com/sites/rasmushougaard/2020/07/08/four-reasons-why-compassion-is-better-for-humanity-than-empathy/#4d70c5e1d6f9