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Empathy can be a Weapon as well as a Comfort

Empathy can be as simple as a speaking glance that says "I heard you." Or it can begin by asking someone Why do you feel that way?, then listening without making them feel judged. We usually use empathy to acquire allies, but it's equally important to understand the feelings of our competitors and enemies. If someone is trying to stop you, slow down and consider what they're feeling. Better yet, ask them.

Digital Tonto: How Empathy Can Be Your Secret Weapon, 2023-Apr-2 by Greg Satell

One thing I learned over many years living in foreign cultures is that it’s important to understand how people around you think, especially if you don’t agree with them and, as is sometimes the case, find their point of view morally reprehensible. In fact, learning more about how others think can make you a more effective leader, negotiator and manager.

Empathy is not absolution. You can internalize the ideas of others and still vehemently disagree. There is a reason that Special Forces are trained to understand the cultures in which they will operate and it isn’t because it makes them nicer people. It’s because it makes them more lethal operators.

It is only through empathy that we can understand motivations—for good or ill—and design effective strategies to build shared purpose or, if need be, design a dilemma for an opponent. To operate in an often difficult world, you need to understand your environment. That’s why building empathy skills can be like a secret weapon.