(Special Episode): Nathan King – 2020 Reflection and Practicing Empathy


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In this brief episode, Humans in Healthcare host, Nathan King, reflects on the skill of empathy in a difficult year. Using conversations from podcast guests, book references, and some humorous tweets, King provides thoughtful insight into why we must practice Empathy.

Leadership in 2020
"We have to continue feeding our families, educating our children. Some of us keep dreaming of a future. But dreaming is different now, more remote, more guarded. At work, it is different now. Conflict is more tense. People are less predictable.

We are group of people that has to lead. We have to show up, to do the work. Our healthcare professionals especially. They have to care for patients, COVID or not, with the same resolve that they always have."

The Importance of Empathy
The word that keeps coming to mind is Empathy. It’s the one that needs a fresh look, to be brushed off, renewed, and used.

Never Split the Difference, a book about negotiation by a former FBI hostage negotiator.

Everybody Writes author, Ann Handley, shares the importance of empathy in writing.

Cultivating and Practicing Empathy
You can see evidence of “empathy” in the eyes of marketers. They have been awkward in how they've put it out there, because empathy is hard to express. Here’s a humorous poem from Twitter describing the struggle of marketers.

Chief Nurse Executive, Claire Zangerle, said, "It's all about putting yourself in that patient's shoes, thinking about if this were your family member going through this particular situation. How'd you feel as a nurse? Or how would you feel as a human being?"

It reminds me of the most famous quote on empathy, a simple one, and one that has stood millennia as the essence of empathy: Love your neighbor as yourself.

Another podcast guest, Michael Hite, shared that empathy starts with leadership and trickles down through an organization.

King ends with practical ways to show empathy. This is the season of thanksgiving, a time when we can be thankful for what we still have, which includes the people we are around, the people we care for, and the people we lead.

Don’t leave empathy behind on the path to progress in 2021.

Humans in Healthcare is produced by Shearwater Health in Nashville, TN, and hosted by Chief Marketing Officer, Nathan King.

Humans in Healthcare Website
Shearwater Health Website

19 episodes