“Empathy by Design” is an online studio where we help one another design empathic human interactions and organizations. It’s like a study group for leaders who care deeply about their commitments to the people they serve, and yet feel stuck in a vicious cycle of frustration trying to bring about change, growth, and innovation in their interaction & organization.
We are seeking studio members.
- Comprised of 6 – 10 people
- Introduced by a group orientation session. (3 hrs)
- Meeting on Zoom twice a month for 2 hours each.
- Supported by peer coaching sessions twice a month for 2 hours each.
- Augmented by feedback & reflections on an online forum.
The studio will be...
The memership fee for the program is USD 650 per person per month with a 5 month initial commitment.
About the studio
Here’s a pattern I’ve observed repeatedly in my work.
If we think someone “lacks empathy”,
chances are good they think the same about us.
CEO thinks employees lack empathy.
Employee thinks CEO lacks empathy.
Doctor thinks patients lack empathy.
Patient thinks doctor lacks empathy.
Consultant thinks client lacks empathy.
Client thinks consultant lacks empathy.
Husband thinks wife lacks empathy.
Wife thinks husband lacks empathy.
It’s always the “other” that lacks empathy.
When faced with stressful interactions, our typical approach is to look at it as a problem to be solved.
Thus, it is very natural for people to think of other people as "lacking empathy," thus a problem to be solved.
- A startup co-founder engaged in conflict with another co-founder may blame the other co-founder as the problem to be solved.
- A leader faced with a group of disengaged or underperforming team may blame the team as problems to be solved.
- A startup founder struggling to grow a company may blame themselves as a problem to be solved.
- A consultant met with resistance from a client to change may blame the client as the problem.
All the while, the “other” is thinking the exact opposite.
Somebody has to go first to break this Gordian knot, and thus I believe the challenge of leadership is to realize our empathy first instead of expecting others to do so.
By “realize empathy,” I don’t mean be nice, tolerant, or altruistic. I mean be willing & able to interpret the stress that arises from our interaction with others as a sign of our own potential to change, grow, and innovate. A potential that can only be realized by going beyond the limits of our current level of empathy.
This is difficult to do, but more possible through guided practice & reflection. The studio aims to be a place of guidance for precisely such practice & reflection.
As a CEO coach & human interaction designer, Slim helps CEOs (re)design their leadership such that interpersonal interactions become less a source of frustration, resentment, and energy drain & more a source of creative insight & innovation. A major part of this process involves their continuous realization of empathy with not only their co-founders, customers, employees, but also themselves.
Slim has spent 19 years exploring the role of design & empathy in creativity & innovation. He coaches on leadership and teamwork across US, Asia, and Europe. Most notably, he has coached nearly 100 leaders through Singularity University’s Global Solutions program and SAP’s Mentors program.
Focus on Empathy
This program is being offered at a time when you’re hearing a lot about the word empathy. They say that empathy is “important.” But you’re wondering “How so? How does it work? What are its limits? How do I apply it? Is it something I can actually work on?”
This program will help you and your fellow participants work together to find the answer to all those questions and more. Most importantly, you will get to tailor the answers to your situation.
In many cases, your company will reimburse you if you ask the HR department.