Episode 35

Building Empathy in a Fractured World

With Jamil Zaki
Episode 35

Building Empathy in a Fractured World

With Jamil Zaki

Psychologist. Stanford Professor & Social Neuroscience Laboratory Director. Bestselling Author. Columnist.

Jamil Zaki is a professor of psychology at Stanford University, director of the Stanford Social Neuroscience Lab and teaches the popular course, Becoming Kinder, designed to address the empathy crisis and “fight back against the increasing trend of polarization and disconnection.” For the last 15 years, Jamil has probed how empathy works, how it helps people and situations that make empathy harder, demonstrating that empathy is a skill, like all other leadership skills, that can be worked on and improved through practice.

Through his research, Jamil Zaki and his colleagues have developed techniques and interventions to improve empathy at schools, hospitals, workplaces, and beyond. His recent book, The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World, explores why it feels harder than ever to connect with each other, how we can overcome modern barriers to empathy, and why we should and must try. His writings on the role of empathy in all forays of life have appeared in leading publications including The Scientific American, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, and Harvard Business Review.

  • A topic of great value in today's C-Suite. Peter Dean
  • Compassion is empathy in action. Thank you for that! Gabe Tuan
  • Thank you so much. Inspired as always by you and your guests! Hilary Arenstein

In this episode of Intersections, Prof. Hitendra Wadhwa has a conversation with Jamil Zaki on the topic “Building Empathy in a Fractured World”.

Our struggles as a society touched new peaks in the past year, from the pandemic, racial injustice, economic collapse, ideological differences, and more, leading to heightened feelings of anger, intolerance, fear and stress. At work, we feel more disconnected than ever with our colleagues and find it hard to express our concerns or grow stronger relationships. In our fractured world, when it is more urgent than ever to come together as a race and uplift each other, empathy has become a radical act.

"We are a link in an enormous chain of humanity; we each have a choice, and the sum of our choices will create the future.”
Jamil Zaki

The episode “Building Empathy in a Fractured World” offers key insights on:

  • How to grow empathy, kindness and compassion for personal and collective success
  • Finding common ground with people when norms, experiences and ideals clash
  • Making empathy and altruism central to organizational cultures

Coming Soon!

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