The Purposeful Creative: A podcast for entrepreneurs, leaders, and design thinking advocates

Special Episode: Join the Empathy Challenge

Feb. 1, 2017

This special episode invites you to take part in our community challenge called ’30 Stories of Empathy’.”
THIS EPISODE IS FOR YOU IF…

You want to make empathy and compassion a habit.


The challenge: How it works
The #30storiesofempathy challenge is a 30-day challenge to genuinely listen to, and collect a story from one person every day while actively practicing compassion and non-judgment, until empathy becomes your habit. That one person must be someone who is different from you, whether in experience, perspective, background, or opinion.
Notice that the call to action here is not to TALK to the other person, but to LISTEN.
The mechanics are super simple:

* Interact with 1 person who’s different from you (in experience, background, perspective, opinion, gender, age, etc)
* Listen to him/her + collect a story in an effort to understand him/her better (remember: listen with empathy and compassion, listen to understand, not to reply)
* Thank the person
* Document your insights. You can do so privately in a journal, or, if you decide to share it online, our official hashtag is #30storiesofempathy. You can also tag us on Instagram: @thepurposefulcreative.

Who should I talk to? The 30 people can be…
A person you disagree with, the security personnel in the mall, your Uber driver, your 15-year-old cousin, the waitress at your favorite restaurant, a street stall vendor, someone on the bus or the train, your former professor, someone from a different religion, someone who grew up in a different province or state, a former high school classmate, your transgender friend, or maybe, if you’re up for it, your seemingly apathetic co-worker who you don’t get along with.
What topics should I talk about?
There are also different questions you can ask them, but make sure to ask questions that ellicit stories, not debates.
For example:

* “How is the experience of being a _____?”
* “Why are you so passionate about the issue of ____?”
* “Can you tell me more about how you became a ____?”
* “Why do you believe in ___?”
* FOR MORE PROMPTS/IDEAS, sign up for the community list in the form below.

How long should the conversation be?
For as long as you can learn something new! Your conversation can go for 5 quick minutes, or you can invite them for lunch or coffee. You can also reach out to people online, but try to have as much in-person interactions as you can.
When should I start?
Any time in February — we’re starting as early as February 2. We’ll do the challenge until March to give people time to catch up. But if you read this way beyond March 2017, please feel free to carry it on and still do it.
How do I start? First step: Sign up below

 
Very Important: Empathy Guidelines for Engaging Any Person

* Let your default question be, “Why is that?”

* Another rephrasing is, “Can you tell me more about that?” This encourages the other person to tell a story. Even when you think you know the answer, ask WHY. Let the answers surprise you.


* Listen to understand, not to reply.

* Again this challenge is built on the act of listening, not talking, or convincing, or debating. When the other person talks, listen actively, instead of thinking about what you’re going to say back. Genuinely be interested in what they’re saying. That means get off your phone!


* Don’t interject your own opinions.

* Remember, this challenge is not about you. Leave your assumptions at the door. One of the biggest enemies of empathy is the past experience, knowledge, and pre-conceived notions and assumptions of the person asking the question. This is often called, “The Curse of Knowledge” — which states that,

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