The Habits of Highly Empathic People

I recently had the opportunity to visit a number of research groups working on topics associated with Positive Computing.

On one of these visits, to the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I met Carolyn Zahn-Waxler. Carolyn's research is on Empathy, particularly the role of genes and environment (eg. family and socialization), and on the ways we develop altruism and compassion. Amidst a really conversation, Carolyn, introduced me to Roman Krznaric's work.


I very much liked his 'Six Habits of Highly Empathic People" article and the video above (although the appropriateness of the Che Guevara image could be debatably naive.)  The habits he includes are:

1. Cultivate curiosity about strangers
2. Challenge prejudices and discover commonalities
3. Try another person’s life
4. Listen hard—and open up
5. Inspire mass action and social change
6. Develop an ambitious imagination