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Culture of Empathy Builder:  John Kinyon

 The Vision of a Culture of Empathy
John Kinyon  

John Kinyon provides training, coaching, and facilitation/mediation around the U.S. and around the world. He is a speaker and author, and has helped people resolve conflicts peacefully and collaboratively for over two decades. John is co-developer and founder of the Mediate Your Life training program, and worked closely for over a decade with Marshall Rosenberg, founder of the international work of Nonviolent Communication.

What does that mean to have a culture of empathy?  
I see it as skills, so that empathy is not just an ability to just sort of sense the emotions and that commonality with others, but to actually have the skills in communications to create that sort of empathic understanding and connection. But not just that but also to be able to use that when conflict occurs, to have difficult conversations.  

 

I see that there are 4 responses to fear,
they are
fight, flight, freeze, or empathy.

 

 

Links 


 Articulating the Vision of a Culture of Empathy: John Kinyon & Edwin Rutsch
(Video on Facebook) 




TRANSCRIPTS

 

John 
I started with the work of nonviolent communication, also called compassionate communication about 20 years ago. About 15 years ago, building on that body of work, I developed my own work that has a mediation approach to dealing with conflict and difficulties and challenges. It's now called Mediate Your Life and co-developed that with my training partner, Ike Lasiter.  So over all these years we have been working on empathy as a really key component of the training. I think of empathy now, as not just the listening, but also the speaking side of how we speak in a way that creates empathic connection, as well as, how we listen.

 

The training is really based on how to use those skill around compassion and empathy to create a way to deal with conflicts and breakdowns. 


 

The training is really based on how to use those skill around compassion and empathy to create a way to deal with conflicts and breakdowns. That is the jist of it, I've been around the world to a lot of different places doing this, what is now a year program, for about 10 years now, that we do.  So I've been doing this for quite a while and looking forward to what we are going to talk about.


 

Edwin

I started and have been working on the Center for Building a Culture of Empathy for almost 15 years.  The idea is that we want to transform society to make empathy a foundational social value. I saw that you in your workshops you have been talking about that. You also have some papers, articles  and blog posts that you have written,  where it shows that this is something you have been thinking about, this term, culture of empathy. So I wanted to explore this topic with you in this dialogue. I've been seeing a "culture of empathy" as sort of this vision for me. I'm setting this out there as a vision of a world and society that we can create together.  I'm trying to articulate what that vision looks like.  What do you think about that, what comes up for you?


 

2:46  John

For many years our training has been people coming to our public trainings workshops and it requires quite a bit of skill building, and commitment over time. The last 2 or 3 years, I've been working on how to bring the work that I do to distill it down, and synthesized, to bring it into organizations. Then I started thinking a lot about the culture within organizations and how they can be empathic and a way to be resilient when responding to conflict. How could I take what I did and make it more manageable within that context in a company.  As I started to do that I realized, that like your vision, it's not just within a particular company or organization, it's about, just in general, the culture in our own lives. In our own personal lives, work lives but also the general societal culture. 

 What does that mean to have a culture of empathy?  

I see it as skills, so that empathy is not just an ability to just sort of sense the emotions and that commonality with others, but to actually have the skills in communications to create that sort of empathic understanding and connection. But not just that but also to be able to use that when conflict occurs, to have difficult conversations.  
 

Edwin, I know you have been working a lot in the political realm, and how to have difficult conversations across political divides and very heated polarized differences.  Like how to bring empathic skills of listening and speaking into those conversations at a general societal level is very interesting to me. I just see it's really crucial to how do we work together as human beings to deal with all the big challenges that we have. For example climate change, and preparing ourselves and dealing with that and getting on the same page somehow.  Plus there are so many political issues  

So I think of these two issues, just speaking and listening, that creates that depth of connection. There is not a particular conflict going on, just having that synergistic, really being in the flow together, a sense of really fulfilling and satisfying closeness, care and connection and then how to bring that into difficult conflict situations. 


 

5:28 Edwin 

I hear that it is about skill building and also about a way of being?  There is a felt experience of the relationship and what is that quality. There is this empathic quality that is a felt experience. We feel it when we are in a more empathic relationship. 


 

5:54  John  - needing safety

In my training I talk about different dimension of that. Where I think conflict happens is people ultimately don't feel safe, emotionally, psychologically, sometimes physically. Often, unless we are in a war zone or a really dangerous part of town, that it's generally more about emotional psychological safety and whenever we do not feel that safety we get triggered into that fight, flight, freeze part of the brain. Where we want to fight or run away, that is just how we are hard wired. Then what the approach I have been doing for all these years is really about bringing the intention to connect into the places where we most want to fight or flee. And how to do that in ourselves. It's creating a circle of safety within ourselves so that we can expand that circle of safety so that we can expand that circle out, and out beyond us to all our relationships, and even beyond.

 

So what creates that safe space so that people can relax and focus more on cooperating and trusting each other and working together to deal with stuff.   That intention for connection, I think is really important, a kind of intention to empathically understand another perspective and see some commonality. The intention to be kind and have care. The Intention for a kind of courageous revealing of our truth, when it might be scary.  So all those things are around the intention to create this quality of connection that human beings are hard wired for but we get easily disconnected from it. 

 

 Edwin Reflects

 

John 

I want to underscore a few things. It's this radical counter impulse that when we do not feel safe, we want to run away or fight, and this is about overriding that primal instinct. It's overriding  that part of our brain, the amygdala, and all that goes with that ancient part of the brain to override that to bring the intention to connect in a way that is warm, caring and kind.  It's trying to understand that even where we don't agree and be willing to courageous in how we express our own truth. So that intention to show up that way, when most of our triggered reaction wants to go into fight or flight.


 

Edwin Reflects

 

John 

It's basically Carl Rogers 3 qualities, 

  • empathy

  • caring, unconditional positive regard, 

  • and congruence (authenticity).

To bring those qualities to where is feels unsafe, either within ourselves or between yourself and others, or between other people around us. To bring that intention when these is some kind of unsafely being experienced.   So that is counter, that is overriding a lot of thousands and hundreds and thousands of years of evolution to bring that intention to connect. 

 

And then what are the skills? How do you do it? That is part of the training. How do you do it, not just the intention to do it, which is wonderful and can go a long way but often it is not enough, because that part of the brain that wants to protect us from danger is so strong. Both the thinking that gets triggered and the emotional reaction that gets going. 

 

In our training there are two different skills. I think of it there is this mindfulness skills, with how to be present, how to be aware, who to keep coming back to that place of awareness and stepping back from our thoughts and feelings. And how to we use language to speak and listen in a way that creates that connection.  So these two pieces are both part of how do you create that overall intention to respond.


 

Edwin Reflects -  About intention. 

I'm hearing, you can have the intention and you have some ways to actually creating it? And you are seeing two parts to that. One is developing that mindfulness, that awareness by stepping back and having a space around it. An awareness of what is happening, as well as the second part which is that language skills and listening in a way that creates that empathic connection.

 

About intention. You and I are here in  this space and I have the intention of creating that space with you and I think you have the intention of holding that space with me as well.  So we are creating a little culture of empathy here in this relationship.  We both have the intention of creating that space.  So why would be want that intention?

 

For me it is because it feels good.  It's like Carl Rogers said, listening or being heard "feels damn good."  So i am wondering what you see as the motivations behind those intentions?


 

John 

I like the way Simon Sinek talks about this. I don't know if you know about his work. He is an organizational speaker and author and he gave one of the most famous TED talks and he does a lot of YouTube talks. He has this idea of a circle of safety and why is that so important evolutionary in our human specifies develop?  It's because we band together to  feel safe from the external threats. We have done that ever since we were hunter gathers. Then if we don't feel safe internally with the tribe and the group, then we don't have trust. Trust leads to cooperation and collaboration. You can look at all the technological wonders around us and everything we built and created in civilization would not have happened if we didn't have this incredible ability to cooperate and collaborate and work together.  

 

I think that is ultimately the most, in terms of efficacy and practical level, it's why have that intention is because it works.  When we can have an attitude of care, warmth and kindness toward others, understand empathically or willing to show up in our own vulnerability and honesty. When we come with that then it is more likely that the other can respond with feeling safer. By bringing that the other can start to feel safer and less threatening in what they are doing and how they are perceiving.   Once that happens we can work together, we can hear each other, we can have political discussions, without demonizing the other side.  

 

And ultimately the really practical things I see is why, why? 
Because then we can cooperate, we can collaborate and we need to as human beings we have these huge issues now, weather it is the treat of nuclear war that is still there
.  Of course climate change, were we don't have agreements on that and yet we are already starting to see the impacts. And lots of issues at that huge level. We as human beings could literally become extinct if we don't figure this stuff out.

 

All the way down to very practical in all our relationships, personal and work that we just work together a hell of a lot better when we feel safe with each other, when we know how to bring that empathic connection into the space. 

 

 There is research out of Google that shows that the most highly performing effective teams were the ones that they called psychological safety as the core culture of their given team. That was the predictor of excellence and high functioning teams at Google that they felt psychological safe with each other.   I think it is a very practical thing and empathy is a way that creates that sense of safety. 

 

 empathy is a way that creates that sense of safety.

 

 
Edwin Reflects

An example of that in the USA is this dysfunction between the political parties. Things are not getting done, policies don't get created and implemented. If a policy gets created by one party or administration, it gets repealed by the other party when it gets in power.  So there is this general dysfunction at this larger social level. So what I hear you saying is that if we have this culture of empathy, then people really hear each other and that the outcome would be a more functional, creative, problem solving cooperative society.   

It scales down to your relationships with your family.  There are all these conflicts in the families and if you have a culture of empathy within the family, then you can solve these internal family issues and conflicts better.


 

18:18  John

Yeah, at all those levels. It's so painfully obvious when that sense of safety and trust breaks down, and the cooperation completely breaks down and how deleterious that is at all those levels.  We can't afford anymore, expectantly at the higher levels, when we have really big things to deal with.  And yet the differences are huge, when ideology and what not get in the way.  

 

We are at an especially conflictual time in terms of segments of the population to be able to create more safety. Because if you see the other side as somehow other, and dangerous, because you have ideas that I think are dangerous, then if the connection totally breaks down and then how do you bring a culture of empathy into that? 

 
How do you bring a culture of empathy into that, so that people can relax their defenses and start listening to each other? I think you have to feel safe enough to listen to each other.  If even one person can bring that, that intention and the skills of how to do that, then it can change the whole room or culture, or what ever context you are in, it can start to shift even subtly towards more of the culture where people are feeling safe, connected, trusting and cooperating. 


 

20:00 Edwin

 

We need that intention to why we want to do it. I've been seeing that we need to have a vision of where we want to go. This vision of a world that has those qualities and values to it.  You were talking about Fight, Flight, or Freeze, and that is usually seen as the response to fear.  I think these is an empathy response as well and that is something that is not talked about. 

I see that there are 4 responses to fear, they are

  • fight,

  • flight, 

  • freeze, 

  • or empathy.

Empathy is just as valid of a response to fear as the other response. That is to have this capacity for empathy, in these fearful situations.  That is empathizing into your own feelings and those of the other that may be stimulating the fear. 


 

20:51 John

Fear and anger, yeah.  What you are saying is interesting, that is seeing empathy as a valid response to some kind of apparently threatening situation or a psychologically  threatening situation. And my understanding of brain science, as limited as it is, that those are really different parts of the brain.

 

 

"What you are saying is interesting, that is seeing empathy as a valid response to some kind of apparently threatening situation or a psychologically threatening situation. "


 

The fear response is an older part of the brain that is more the reptilian or instinctual and that empathic response is a different part of the brain. It's called the mammalian, mammal brain and there are pathways in the brain that are about attachment and bonding,  and friendship and nurturing, nurturence. We are wired for that but then maybe if we have trauma, or various things that make it difficult to aces that part of our human nature then we go more to the fear.   I like the way that you framed that thought. To see that as a response it's just a different kind of response. I think the difficult thing, or the thing you and I and others need to figure out is, on a large enough scale. How people can be aware, that when you are in fear, you have to deal with that fear somehow, because otherwise, you are afraid and you are going to react. 

 

You have to transform that fear into something that feels safer, at some level inside and then you can feel like I can apply empathy as a valid response to this adversity, this challenge, this difficulty you have. How to get there, that is a lot of my work, is how do you make that shift out of being in a fear or anger mode and actually get to a place where you heart softens and open and you want to connect, because you feel like you have taken care of that initial fight, flight, freeze inside and then you can to apply the other one.

 

 23:00 Edwin 

What I am hearing is that there can be this quality of fear that can come up and the question is how do we relate to or deal with that fear.

 

 There is the empathic approach, which is to be aware of the fear and to sense the fear and to allow it to arise and be with it.  I've seen that in my own family  when I had an experience where there was a conflict. It was a very intense conflict a couple of years ago that too place on Christmas between two family members. I stepped into it, and the stepping into it, I could just feel the fear in my body. It was like  the feeling of icicles through the core of my body. The rest of the family members had all shrunk into the corners of the room to get away from the conflict. There were two family members yelling and screaming at each other.  Just for me to step into that, was so anxiety producing inside myself.  
 

 

 "There is the empathic way, which is to be aware of the fear, to sense the fear, to allow it to arise, to be with it, to let it be heard, to reflect it, to move through the fear, and to feel the resulting deep release  and sense of connection."


 

Looking back on it, I wondered how do I hold that empathic presence with all that anxiety.  I  realize that it was that I had been doing a lot of practice  empathy circles and had strengthened my  skill and resilience through that.

 

Anyway, I started do a mediation by listening to both parties and that brought brought their stress level down.   Then I got them to do empathic listening with each other, back and forth. Then the whole family started coming out of the woodwork and it turned into this big family empathy circle, using active listening to dialogue between all the members. Then we came down to some core  issue, which was about one of them not having a scene of belonging in the family and having felt unexcepted.  This was a totally different issue than what had started off the conflict. It ended very well with everyone hugging. 

 

For me, the quality of fear going into this was so intense. One quality of how to deal with that was having done a lot of empathy circles, a lot of practice. 

 

What I hear you say is, there are different parts of the brain and through practice, and constantly practicing the empathic listening and having overcome conflict before, that we are rewiring the brain and making those empathic related pathways deeper and deeper. So it's the neurons that fire together, wire together and the empathic response becomes more and more automatic. That was something I wanted to add.   
 

So how do we address the fears that can come up, in an empathic way, ?

 

I'm sure you have lots of stories and experience of how you have dealt with that fear?


 

25:59:1 John

I like your story very much and it sounds like you are saying you were able to be aware and enough of your fear but not have that totally override your practice. That lots of practice helps prepare you to deal with the fear.  


 

Edwin I was shaking!


 

John: Yeah, the adrenaline starts flowing and our whole body starts orienting towards self protection, right.  So that is a great story of how all the practice you put into training yourself how to shift into the part of you that wanted to try to connect and offer empathy, that then was you were able to do because you created enough of those pathways and strengthening them to bring that into a very challenging moment.  

 

It's just like going to the gym, or exercising in any way or just a deep practice that is someway to strengthen that ability because otherwise the fight, flight, freeze just takes over. 


 

27:12:4 Edwin   The culture is constantly practicing the fight approach. We get that constant wiring of the brain as the solution to problems and conflict. 


 

27:23:8 John  I really like your story because it shows what is possible.  In my experience that is very possible if one can do what you were able to do. Right.  You were just one person in that whole room, but you were able to totally shift the energy to the more collaborative and connecting and empathizing way of being.   It is so possible if we develop that training. 

 

This starts to get to another thing I was imagining we could talk about if you are ready too?


 

28:09 Edwin There was one thing I did want to talk about before we go on. It is the concept of individualistic empathy as compared to relational empathy. I wanted to read a short piece from Maureen O'Hara who was a grad student with Carl Rogers and she had done workshops and trainings with him. She was one of the people that carried his work forward. She says, 
 

"Empathy is commonly regarded as an individual-to-individual phenomenon in which one person senses the unspoken or inchoate thoughts or feelings of another. Our observations show that group or relational empathy may be even more important than individual empathy in the formation of conscious communities." Maureen O'Hara

 

There is notion or worldview that we live or exist in this individualistic country or world where people see themselves as individuals and focus on their own experience and self interest. And a lot of the empathy training has this view that me as an individual is empathizing with you as an individual. There is an explanation of why this view is big in the therapeutic world. The idea is that males tend to have more of this individualistic view of life, whereas woman in the home were tending to the well being of the entire family and the relationships. So how are the kids doing, how everyone is relating to everyone else in the family.  Thinking of and being aware of the felt experience of the whole family.  
 

So, it was men who started the psychology field, like Freud, etc. They brought their individualistic world view into the field of  psychotherapy. So what was considered good therapy was to help the client to become individualistic. Becoming autonomous, becoming self reliant,  etc. That was the goal of the therapy, that was considered healthy or normal.  There was a sort of response to this when feminists came along and said, this is an individualistic understanding of empathy, but there is really this relational understanding of empathy.  

 

It's is the quality of empathy between us. I think you were addressing that when you first started talking, that it's not just me empathizing with you, but in the relationship both parties have something thing they can do to deepen the overall empathy in the relationship.  For example, if I am speaking, if I can express more of my felt experience, that I can contribute to creating a deeper relationship and connection.  So everyone in the relationship has something they can do to contribute to create that environment and connection. 

 

For me that is the basis of a culture of empathy. We all have that intention to create that shared relational space and feeling or quality.


So just wanted to raise that topic of the difference between and individualistic and relational empathy.  I wanted to chat a little bit about that and if you have any thoughts about it?


 

31:38:5 John 

What comes to me is that thinking of empathy as something I can do with myself internally as an individual. Rugged individualism is that says,  "I'll take care of myself. I'll give empathy to myself without needing anybody else."

 

Then there is the one on one empathy how I can get support for empathic listening to what is happening for me.
 

But also as you say, how to  give it to others, to be in flow back and forth of that empathy. There is like a group level, community level, of how people can reinforce that empathy in a group. I think of satsang and community. With the distinctions I'm not sure how to get there exactly, but I think it is just another level to look at, or observation, or intentionality and how do we take that one on one level.  So that it is an intention for a whole group or community to share that way of supporting everybody collectively in that kind of listening and speaking. 


 

Edwin

I see it as a part. There is; 

  • that self-empathy,

  • me empathizing with you, even if you are not listening in return, 

  • then there is the mutual, 

  • then the societal

  • etc

It's like the Russian doll model. They are all part of and comments, but what has happened in the many trainings or the therapy is this notion of you as the individual and it stops there and don't see the larger context and how do we really create this larger culture of empathy?  It's also about how to we get buy-in for us to have this intention for a the society wanting this kind of world.   I don't have it clearly articulated yet but that is what I want to do.

 

People like Maureen O'Hara have written about this relational empathy and there is a feminist group at Wellesley College working on this quality of relational empathy.  It's just that this relational empathy give a conect and a way of holding an awareness, an awareness 

  • of the felt experience of the country 

  • or the felt experience of the home, 

  • or the felt experience of the culture is a business

This is what I am calling the culture of empathy. It's having the intention of build that whole culture.


 

 34:59:4 John 

That is an important lens to be looking for that or how to create that. The intentionality around that level. About the interconnectedness of peoples empathic response to each other as a group, as a collective, as a norm. What is the norm, is it the norm to be competitive, self protective and all that in the culture, or is the norm to be responding to the difficulties and challenges with empathy and trying to connect even when it is difficult. Is that the group norm and is that the way people are in general seeing that yes, this is how we function together as a group or even as a society.  


 

Edwin

That is the intention for me it to create that group norm and and that vision of what our community could like like. Just having the vision of what the society looks like when we have that norm.  We talk a bit about the benefits of that. That the society will be able more effective, more collaborative, like you were talking about and be able to address personal and social problems and work together.  I think there needs to be some of these concepts and terms to be able to articulate and speak about it.    That is why I wanted to talk with you about this so that we can explore these nuances and language to express that. 


 

John: 

Different people have different languages. They have very different ways to understand the kind of things we are trying to talk about. I have been reading Ken Wilbur, you may know of him. He has written a recent book called 'Trump and the Post Truth World' or something like that. He takes this spiral dynamics view of levels and layers of consciousness development. A mental, emotional development individually and societally. 

 

Different people are at different levels and we are in different levels and different context.  How do you speak to somebody who has a different worldview than we do.  How do you find a language that makes sense to them, because the way we are talking right now, there is a whole segment of the population that would not necessarily agree or even would be turned off by the language we are using to talk about this.  How to even at that level of understanding the things we are say and seeing the value in them and do it in a way that makes sense to as many people as possible.


 

38:07.7 Edwin

In the story with the family, I had talked a long time about the importance of empathy and they didn't understand it.  They just said, "that's nice, we really don't understand what you are talking about."  

 

And then they experienced it in that family mediation and I named it.

 

 I said, "This is empathy"


 

And they basically said, "This is pretty good, this works, we are willing to do more of it." 


 

Then we started family empathy circles. Some of my family is conservative evangelical christian... you know, it works across the political divide.


 

 38:45:7 John 

What you are saying is really fascinating to me Edwin because that whenever we try to explain something like this, to talk about it. Even with the best of intentions it is really hard if we are coming from a certain world view and we are trying to talk with somebody in a different worldview, it's really hard to talk about these things. But like you just said, it wasn't until you did it with them and they could experience the raw quality of what happens when you listen in a certain way, and focus your language in a certain way. And them boom you experience that connection, that empathy and feel it and it goes beyond the mind trying to put labels on it.  You feel it and you get it and you want more of it because it feels good and you see the power of it.  


 

I think you have said something that to me is the light bulb.  The lesson seems to be not to try and talk about it too much just like Marshall Rosenberg said, 'Just be it, and live it."  I think Carl Rogers would say that too. Just be that empathy like you did with your family.



 "You feel it and you get it and you want more of it because it  feels good and you  see the power of it. "


 

Let the learning and the inspiration come from how we do it and how we be it. The more we talk about it somethings you lose something.


 

 40:05.6 Edwin

Then there is the question of how do we do this in a larger social context. I'm seeing there is a lot of workshops, people doing it in homes, but how do we bring it into the larger social awareness? I don't see a lot of it. Barack Obama talked a lot about empathy and now recently Hillary Clinton has said we need radical empathy. But it's at this word level and I don't see the experience or the action to connect that with the words. 

 
 

 40:35:5 John 

Right. I'm guessing that with all the workshops and trainings and seminars and online things and things people read. There is a lot of this happening at certain levels of society but then in a really macro level of our whole US society and beyond, how much is it really penetrating to that level?  That is your question?

 

And how do we help or speed that up.  Darshan the theologian thinks in terms of thousands of years of evolution, and we don't have that kind of time anymore.  Right?

 

We need to see how can we speed this up. I don't have any answers but I really like the question a lot.


 

Edwin

Once we have the problem then we can turn it into a problem statement of:
How might we speed up the building of a culture of empathy?

It gives a space and a direction to work on it and to brainstorm and find creative solutions to prototype and test. 


 

 John 

I like what you are doing very much with political stuff and conversations that you are trying to get to happen. I look forward to being part of that. That's one way to do it is to address the political domain and try to bring this there because there is obviously a lot of need for it. A lot of people feel draw to or engaged in it even if they don't show up at the pools always. People pay attention and watch the news and they know the issues. And most people have opinions. So that is a way to engage on a much larger level. 

 

Edwin

There was something you had wanted to talk about. I have moved back to the individualistic empathy as compared to a relational empathy.  


 

42:28:7 John  (Empathy needs to be regularly practiced and exercised)

We need to talk about empathy the same way we might talk about yoga or meditation.  I'm curious how much this is part of your thinking. I'm guessing it is. Or exercise. If you think about those things, exercise 50 years ago  was not even a thing. Some people liked it but most didn't and now almost everybody would agree that exercise is important. Its part of being healthy, a lot of people go to the gym. Like it is way more accepted at a cultural level that empathy is important and valuable. And the same now for yoga, there are yoga studios on every corner practically, and even meditation and mindfulness is becoming quite a household word now cutting across lots of social strata. 
 

The idea of meditation not seeming so esoteric, it still has a way to go, but it is getting there. I think empathy in a way you and I are talking about it is not just a feeling or understanding or resonance but it's also a skill of how to pay attention and how to use language to speak and listen. I think of it in a similar way to have a health well balanced life that you would have regular empathy with yourself and others. Where you practice the skills that deepen the connection and then ways that you can use that for conflict that arise.  That would be seen in the same way that exercise, yoga and meditation is now being seen as just a healthy life style. 


Edwin

I'm totally for that and support that and I think that is a way off making it a practice, a regular routine that you have that and be constantly practicing. Sort of for your relational health. You have you physical health and you need to work on your relational health as well. 

 

How might we make relational empathy exercise  practice as common as physical exercising?


 

John

Yeah, linking it into the wellness movement, a holistic wellness and health movement.  And all the apps that support that.  Just have this be woven in as part of the  various ways of being healthy.  You talk about empathy circles and empathy groups, that is one way. You don't have to go to once a week empathy group you can do different people in your life that you have a regular practices of even 5 minutes.  With just some speaking and listening each way with some intentionality. To me that drops us into a deeper place than just this normal back and forth way we talk. If you bring a little structure and intentionality to the conversation and you have some sense skills you want to practice then not only do you practice the skills but then you build the connection within ourselves and between us and certain people in our lives that are important. Then it can just spread that way and at that group level of practicing, on the one on one level, and inside ourselves. We can practice at those levels to create that health. 
 

How might we regularly practice and exercise our empathy?


 

Edwin

We need a whole ongoing development for developing those kind or tools and practices and be open to all the different ways that can be done. Be it empathy circles, be it empathy buddies, be it in the family, home and work. To have regular support. That are a lot of different way to practicing and deepening this way of being.

 

John

For lot of people this might sound weird what we are talking about, still might not understand what we are talking about, but the idea that more and more just like those other things became common cultural understandings of health that this will, just a mater of time. It seems it's going to be if we survive on this planet. It will be part of just peoples practices for emotional health.


 

Edwin

That is what we are both working on and it is really good to have you on the journey for building a culture of empathy.


 

I want to clearly put together this vision of a culture of empathy. To have something that we can share and constantly be developing. 

 

 

John 

I look forward to more conversations and more work together and how we can make this vision a reality.


 

I look forward to more conversations

 and more work together and how 

we can make this vision a reality.

 

 

 

Empathy Documentary Project: Insights into Empathy - John Kinyon

 


Building a Culture of Empathy in Organizations
John Kinyon, Co-founder of Mediate Your Life


 

Building a Culture of Empathy in Your Life & Work
"These elements of empathy ó presence, understanding, needs ó create connection and working together to find creative solutions to problems. I have found that itís not just knowing how to use these skills. Itís about developing a regular practice in which you take turns speaking and listening, and intentionally use the skills. This can be done at work as well as in personal life. It is in the daily and weekly routines that habits form that then become part of the culture we live and work in. If we can create cultures of empathy in our own lives and organizations, we can build a world culture in which compassion and collaboration is the norm."