Posts tagged empathy
Verstehen: Meaningful Understanding

The need to engage verstehen (or empathic neutrality) is equally important whether my "subject" is someone with whom I'm already inclined to empathize (like the young woman in the park) or someone with whom it is very difficult for me to empathize. And so it was verstehen that I called upon later in the week when I found myself in the backseat of a cab being driven by an outspoken white nationalist.

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Champion-Thinking and Managing Up

I raised an eyebrow and commented off-handedly to a friend that I hoped that the new organization was making sure that long-time advocacy groups were at the planning table, since they were the ones who most understood not just the local terrain but also the root causes. My friend shot back with a surprising level passion, assuring me that the process would be authentic, that root causes would be central to all strategy, and that the money would be well spent.

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