Write a research paper: a lesson in empathy

During the past week, I’ve taught my most advanced students how to write a research paper (for more about my time in Nepal, visit here and here). The sixteen- and seventeen-year-old monks have never heard the term research before, and words such as “references,” “introduction,” “outline,” and “conclusion” are new additions to their vocabulary.

When I first explained their assignment, their charming smiles hid…


What connects us

Understanding that first and foremost, the life you want to create for yourself, the type of person you want to become, the parts of yourself you’re most excited to develop will attract individuals who will help you get there.

Realizing that true, authentic connection is expansive. The right relationship discovered at the right time can help you soar, find freedom, create, and see a limitless future.

Recognizing that relationships are catalysts…


Success + generosity = no accident

Observation #1: The most successful people I know are also the most generous.

  • Leaders who give their time and of themselves endear those around them, building trust and respect among teams.
  • “Scarcity mentality” repels and detracts from passion, energy, and fulfillment.
  • Altruism and great financial success are not mutually exclusive.

Observation #2: Some of the best connections arise from places of abundance and giving.

  • When you are focused on “the other,” conversations are more…

The power of weakness

In moments of confusion, doubt, insecurity and despair, we feel least like connecting. It becomes tempting to create distance, sit in the corner, and focus inward when feeling less than. We convince ourselves that failures and struggles are better left unspoken.

Yet these moments often proceed sparks of brilliance and unstoppable action.

Too often we rob ourselves of the full spectrum of human connection. An empathic word or kind touch can…


What makes a good manager?

Good managers:

  • pinpoint and recognize individual strengths
  • delegate effectively
  • demonstrate empathy
  • champion success
  • actively analyze and identify areas of self improvement
  • channel enthusiasm while gently nudging staff development and growth
  • share with discretion

Other managers:

  • assign roles without considering natural skills and talent
  • fail to provide benchmarks for employee growth
  • have unclear expectations
  • confuse communication with control
  • let emotions negatively impact the work environment
  • lack perspective

Empathy 101

Create one mandated course for high school students nationwide. What does it include?

At a recent dinner, this was one of the prompts for group discussion. Without hesitation, my mind sounded one clear word.


  • The ability to reference another’s perspective, considering their experiences and worldview, in order to better understand behavior and intention.
  • “Putting yourself in their shoes.”
  • The capacity to recognize another’s emotions and experiences, closing the gap between self and other.
  • Identifying…

We’re all blind.

August 14 2012    Tags: , , , ,

We’re all some kind of blind. We can’t help it.

We were raised seeing the world a certain way, adopting particular values, learning how to interpret our immediate surroundings.

What’s challenging to you may be quite interesting to the woman sitting across the boardroom, and she knows a great solution. Your client’s problem may be an easy fix in your world; to him, an impossible task.

Are you willing to accept alternative…


Everyone has a story.

June 12 2012    Tags: , , ,

You get to decide if you want to listen.

(And what you can learn.)