Special Guest – Joel Lashley

Joel Lashley and Al Oelschlaeger talk about Empathy (seeing the world through other people’s eyes), the foundation skill for treating people with dignity. You’ll learn the three steps for practicing Empathy, the differences between emotional and cognitive empathy, and the importance of having a rich vocabulary to describe the broad range of emotions. Vistelar has three criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of a conflict management method: 1) does it look professional to onlookers and on camera, 2) does it keep everyone safe as possible, and 3) does is demonstrate concern. Joel and Al discuss how this third criterion applies to empathy. This episode provides some great background for the following episode where Joel and Al discuss Empathy with Alex Hunter, owner of Hunter Intervention Training. Listen in and join the conversation by letting us know your own thoughts about how to practice empathy by emailing us at info@vistelar.com.

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Al:                         Well, good afternoon, Joel. How are you doing?

Joel:                      I’m doing great, Al. Thanks.

Al:                         Well, as you know, we’re going to be having a recording here shortly, even within the next 24 hours with that gentleman I met in the U.K., Alex Hunter. I just spent four days with the guy and I was just hugely impressed, so I think we’re going to have a really fun call with him tomorrow or maybe over the weekend, but I thought it’d be valuable for you and I to get together and just yak a little bit about what we’re going to talk to him about. And that is empathy, which we’ve talked about previously, but he has some insights on empathy that I think we’re going to find fascinating.

Joel:                      I can’t wait to talk to Alex. I’m very excited about having that conversation.

Al:                         So, I’m over in the U.K., and I think anybody who’s been listening to the podcast knows I was over there for nine days. We were teaching our new representatives in the U.K. and the Middle East about our program and now they’re off doing their thing. But one of the people in the classes, this guy, Alex Hunter, and he’s one of the trainers for Dynamis, which is a company we’re working for and he, I’m not sure exactly how it came up, but he talked about being an empath, E-M-P-A-T-H, and I actually have never heard that word before. And it turns out you have.

Joel:                      I have heard it but not in the official sense. Meaning that I’ve heard people describe themselves as empaths as in being very sensitive and aware of other people’s emotions. I’ve heard it many times in science fiction. It’s a science fiction theme where people have the ability to sense and actually feel other people’s pain and emotions.

Al:                         Oh, well. Yeah. Well, he talked about it. I won’t get… I’ll let him share the specific statistics that he knows because he teaches this, on both sides of the equation, and we’ll talk about this resilience thing here in a minute, but he teaches this, but he said that it’s something like 2, 3, 4% of the population, we’ll find out tomorrow the exact percentage, that are true empaths. Then there’s another at the other end of the spectrum, there’s 1 or 2% that are true psychopaths. And then another small percent percentage that are true sociopaths. And the first guy who said he has a clear understanding of the distinction being a psychopath and a sociopath. So, we can hear that. And then, he says the balance of us all have our own problems still. But I think we’ll talk mostly about the two extremes. But you remember something from where? About empaths, some science fiction thing.

Joel:                      Well, that’s an original Star Trek, classic Star Trek episode called The Empath.

Al:                         Oh, there we go.

Joel:                      And it was about an alien that Captain Kirk and Spock and McCoy encountered on a planet that was able to feel other people’s actual physical pain and their emotions.

Al:                         Wow. You actually remember the episode?

Joel:                      Very well. All of us Star Trek nerds, us Trekkers, remember the episode very well, yes.

Al:                         I remember in college, I was at a fraternity and we had a little TV room. This is back in the early ’70s. So, Star Trek was still on, but this guy, there was a guy in there, he had seen the episodes previously. They must’ve been… Were they reruns in the early ’70s already? Probably on cable, on some of the-

Joel:                      Oh, yeah.

Al:                         Yeah, yeah. So.

Joel:                      Yeah. They were already making a movie within 10 years of the show being canceled.

Al:                         So, we were watching the reruns. He could finish almost every sentence of the script. I was [inaudible 00:04:03].

Joel:                      Yeah, I could, it drives my wife crazy. Because if… I remember watching a classic Trek or something, I can recite it from beginning to end. And she has to tell me to shut up so she could hear the show. It’s true.

Al:                         Exactly. Yeah. So, let’s… I thought it’d be valuable. That interaction with Alex actually prompted me to go to Amazon and try to find a book about this. And I found this great book. I’ve shown it to you, Joel. I don’t think you’ve read it yet, and I’m not all the way through it, but it’s a lady that is an empath and she started writing about empathy like 20, 25 years ago. And she just made some extraordinarily good points that we now actually have embedded some of that into our training. But it’s about the fact that there’s a certain percentage of the population, whether you call them empaths or something else, are hypersensitive to people’s emotions.

Al:                         And as you described that empathy is this general feeling that you can actually feel the other person’s pain. That’s generally described as emotional empathy versus cognitive empathy, emotional being where you’re actually feeling it, cognitive empathy meaning where you’re intellectually trying to put yourself in their shoes. It’s more of an imagination, trying to imagine yourself being in their shoes and seeing the world through their eyes. So, that’s a little bit more of an intellectual exercise. But the folks that are hypersensitive actually feel the other person’s pain. And you’ve indicated that you think you’re, I know I’m not, so that’s easy for me, but that you’re actually up in that hypersensitive range, do you think?

Joel:                      I may be but I may not be. I know I was raised, and a lot of people raise their children this way, to be a cognitive empath, to put themselves in the shoes of others. Kind of an adage of that would be people who would talk about children who wasted food, wherever you fall on that spectrum, would say, “Think about the starving children in other countries that don’t have food like that.” So, that would be an example, I think, of cognitive empathy. And so, I was given examples like that to try and build empathy by my parents as I was being raised. And lots of people were.

Joel:                      As far as the actual feeling the emotion of others, I have felt the emotions of others. I think a lot of us have. We’ve seen people in terrible situations or in pain or things like that and it’s affected us deeply. We may have cried about it, we may have become angry about their situation. But where we fall on the spectrum of what Alex is going to have to say about this, I’m sitting on the edge of my seat to hear because I’m by no means an expert.

Al:                         Well, and you’ve certainly seen it in healthcare. And I think I’ve shared that I spent a few years in healthcare as a pharmacist years and years and years ago. And so I worked in a hospital and I saw some of this, but you spent your whole career in health care, and there’s clearly people that have gone into healthcare because they are empathetic and they want to help people. But then they get there and they realize it just can be overwhelming. This and the, I think the term used is, compassion fatigue. So, share just a little bit about that. I’m sure you saw that all the time.

Joel:                      Well, one thing, I did see it all the time. And nobody who goes to, say nursing school, when they start that career ever goes, “Wow, this is what I expected it to be.” And they didn’t expect the levels of conflict, the levels of violence, the levels of disrespect, the hours of hard work, emotionally draining, physically draining, intellectually draining. I mean, it is the respect that people have to give a nurse that works in acute care, subacute care. I don’t care where it is, how demanding a career that is. Wow, for me, it’s one of the top. And that is, we see a level of turnover in nursing that we might be surprised that, based on the benefits and pay that they receive, you can make a really good living in nursing, depending on your level of training and education.

Joel:                      But still, we see a lot of burnout. We see a lot of compassion fatigue where once you’ve seen death and dismemberment and pain and disease as often as they have, we have to find some way to cope with it. And compassion fatigue may be just a natural human response to seeing those sorts of things, day in and day out.

Al:                         Well, as you know, Joel, both of us went up to a threat assessment conference, healthcare threat assessment conference. And I was lucky enough to sit next to a woman who worked in a hospital in Minnesota, can’t remember the name of the hospital. But she convinced her senior management at the hospital to have every single person in the hospital go through what she called resilience training. It was to deal with exactly what you’re describing, is that people get overwhelmed, compassion fatigue, burnout, whatever. She actually had a… She put together a two-hour, hour-and-a-half course that had trained all, it was hundreds of employees, can’t remember the exact number. It was all about, how do you maintain a level of resilience against that, so you can continue to enjoy your job and you don’t go home completely crushed by the end of the week? And I know that’s why I’m looking forward to meet with Alex because he does that same kind of training. I don’t know if it’s the same content but the same kind of training in the U.K. for midwives, primarily, but I think healthcare and other professionals also. We’ll find out more tomorrow.

Joel:                      Yeah, I can’t wait to learn more about that. I mean, once I heard the concept, I was very intrigued. So, that’s something I plan to study quite a bit to learn more about.

Al:                         So, and we’ve talked about maybe, we’ll see, but maybe incorporating resilience training into our conflict management training. I remember when I was on our way to the airport and he actually called me and said, and I’m not sure I fully understood what he was getting at, but he said, “Al, you talked about how Vistelar addresses the entire spectrum of human conflict.” And he says, “I understand what that means, but maybe the spectrum is a further extension from whatever you’re thinking and that we could actually help people deal with the conflict that they have with themselves.” And I think he was dealing with this whole empath and hypersensitivity issue, but we’ll find out tomorrow. But I thought that was an interesting concept that the entire spectrum of human conflict includes the conflict you have with yourself.

Joel:                      Yeah, I’m very intrigued by the notion, can’t wait to have that conversation and learn more about it. And it’s certainly something that’s come up time and again in my career, of the high levels of post-traumatic stress, depression, and challenges, family challenges with children and significant others, that may bleed over from the workplace to the home. I’ve known lots of healthcare professionals over the years, residential treatment people, people working in nursing homes, nursing in acute care, that have dealt with the struggles that bled over from their jobs in their career. And it’s fairly significant. It’s very significant.

Al:                         Well, and but what we normally do is, we’re trying to get people to put themselves in other people’s shoes for those less sensitive people, so that they can better understand where that other person’s coming from. And if they can do that effectively, you’re going to end up seeing less conflict, non-escalation and then if things get crazy, de-escalation. So, let me just go through quickly, and Joel, maybe just jump in, but the three steps we talk about when we talk about empathy is first, which is one of our main approaches to treating people with dignity, which is, listen with all your senses.

Al:                         And I think a lot of times, what I hear about people that are empathetic is they just naturally listen with all their senses. They can sense somebody’s tenseness when they walk in a room and they can see the micro facial expressions that a lot of people don’t see. So, I think that that whole, and we’ll talk about it here in a minute, but I think for somebody that’s less sensitive, just to, when they’re interacting with somebody, to look at somebody in the eye and actually pay attention to what eye color they have. So you’re just dwelling there a little bit longer and watching for those expressions that might give you some hint as to where they’re coming from.

Joel:                      Yeah. I suspect, I’m not a neuroscientist, but just some studying the non-verbal communication, micro-momentary expressions happen between about one 25th of a second. So that if you and I are having a conversation, I’m downloading all sorts of information into your brain, and you’re downloading all sorts of information into mine. And that comes from these micro-momentary points of communication, little nuances in our eyes and expressions of our face, the corner of our mouth, the rate that we breathe, all sorts of things, sends along little signals from my brain to yours and yours to mine. And that is-

Al:                         But Joel, I can guarantee you, you’re getting more information than I am, for some reason.

Joel:                      But maybe, maybe not.

Al:                         We don’t know.

Joel:                      So I suspect, again, also not as… Think of it this way. You may walk into a room full of people, say a classroom, a grocery store, something, and you look and everybody kind of looks the same. Maybe they just have, they don’t look particularly happy, particularly sad, things like that. They’re just looking like they’re about their business. And you may look at somebody and think, “Well, he seems like a nice person.” Then you look at someone else and you think, “Well, there’s something about her I don’t like.”

Al:                         Yep. Oh, it’s that.

Joel:                      And these things, right? And these things don’t have a foundation in reason. But for some reason, we’ve been prejudiced on some subconscious level. So that may be part of this information that our preconceived notions, our personal biases, but perhaps maybe some of this as well. So…

Al:                         Well, and this book I’m reading. I mean, that was one of her main points is that these emotions you feel, that those are all there for a purpose. They didn’t just happen by chance. Those are evolutionary protectors for humans. That every emotion that we feel is there for a purpose. And she says, one of the tactics she teaches is, understand the purpose of an emotion so you don’t let it overwhelm you. It’s there for a reason, a good reason. And you should see it and say, “Boy, ah, my human physiology and whatever that’s creating that emotion, is there for a reason. This is a good thing. And let me make sure I understand the reason it’s there. And it just lets you deal with all that stuff easier than if you thought it was just some something coming into your brain that you don’t want.

Joel:                      Exactly. And it’s going to come into our brain whether we like it or not.

Al:                         Exactly.

Joel:                      So, how we interpret that information, analyze it, understand it, and act on it is what’s important. And we talk a lot about context at Vistelar. The impulse to panic or to be competitive in certain situations, panic, this blind planet, the black zone, as we call it, in Vistelar, that code that says, “I’m not reasoning, I’m not thinking, I’m in blind panic, I’m not seeing,” right?

Al:                         Yep.

Joel:                      That is a bad reaction in most situations. But if it triggers our flight response, if a saber tooth tiger shows up, that’s probably a good thing. That’s a survival instinct. Becoming enraged and angered when we’re protecting our families and things in times when we don’t have laws and resources and things like that, that serves us well. But in a situation where we have what we call a civilized society, then knowing how to manage those emotions and what the place is, how to rule them with laws and policies and things like that, is how we overcome that nature, when it doesn’t serve us well. In other words, we needed those things in the natural world. But the point of civilization is to elevate human behavior. So we have to learn how to process that. We have to learn how to use it now that we’re all living together in urban centers, shoulder to shoulder, under all sorts of situations, good and bad.

Al:                         Yep. And if you’re doing that first step and listen with all your senses, which means feeling and accurately identifying your emotions that you’re getting from somebody else, all that information that you’re talking about that’s pouring into your brain, that’s a critical first step. But then the second step is what we’ve already talked about, which is that cognitive empathy of then cognitively or using your imagination to actually put yourself in their shoes. And then the third step, which a lot of times I think we just say, “Oh, we’re empathetic and we feel bad,” whether we have some sense of where the other person’s coming from. But the people now that are writing about empathy say this third step is the most important and that is to actually act on what you’re feeling, and demonstrate concern back to that person, via your words, your non-verbals, your paraverbals, your proxemics, your actions that that third step is crazy important. Because if you don’t reflect back and demonstrate your concern, then you haven’t done anything with all that input that you’ve received.

Joel:                      Yep. That’s a fact.

Al:                         So, let’s… I’m just going to go over a couple more ideas here about empathy. We already talked about paying attention to micro-expressions and eye contact and all that. I think that’s crazy important. One of the things we teach in our conflict management program is our beyond active listening skills. That’s another whole approach that I think some people do these beyond active listening skills naturally, others don’t. And we really drive that home that these skills, and we’ll just talk about a couple of them here, but those skills are a really, really, really help you gather that information to figure out where that other person’s coming from. So, one of them is just to paraphrase and reflect. Why don’t you talk a bit about those two?

Joel:                      Well, paraphrasing is a very powerful tool to help build understanding what people are saying, especially if they’re under stress, and they’re talking about their feelings or they’re talking about why they behaved a certain way, and to reflect on the way people are feeling, paraphrasing, just putting things in their own words to demonstrate that you’ve understood what someone else said but helps them self-examine. “So, sir, you’re saying that you screamed at the nurse because your appointment was late.” Something like that helps people to self-examine and go, “Well, I didn’t mean to do that. But I’m very upset that I got here and I’ve been waiting for half an hour and I’m sorry I took it out on her.” That’s often the reaction when you paraphrase things for something, because it helps them to self-examine and build empathy. and that’s why I’ve used it a lot in my career and it’s a pretty powerful tool.

Al:                         Well, and then reflect is… As you know, Joel, I was in the hospital a few years ago, a few times and there is a sense in healthcare that nobody’s listening to me. Nobody cares. Everybody’s just going about their business. And if somebody came in and just said, “You must be frustrated that you’ve been in the hospital for three days,” which is a reflect method, it’s just hugely powerful. You then go, “Finally, somebody at least is trying to understand what’s going on in my head.”

Joel:                      Yeah. And that’s really useful. I mean, I’ve taught that in corrections classes. One of the questions I’ve got a lot from corrections officers over the years in their training is, “Is there anything I can do to help that person, maybe with a cognitive disability who’s in my prison or jail, someone with dementia, someone with autism?” And we talked quite a bit about the unmet need, why people act out. I said, “There’s an unmet need beyond just food and water and blankets and things like that. But there’s also the human connection and these people often feel very isolated.” And I said, “Why don’t you try stopping by that person’s cell, doing a universal greeting, introducing yourself, and ask them how they’re doing, and see if that affects their behavior in a positive way?” And I can tell ya, some of the more feedback to me that was special was from officers that said they tried that, and it helped them understand the situation better, and it actually did affect that person’s behavior.

Al:                         Yeah. And the challenge, I think this reflect thing, it’s hugely powerful. But you’re using a word to describe an emotion, and you can’t express that feeling in any other way other than the word. So you obviously are frustrated, you obviously are whatever. And I think what happens though, is a lot of people have a very limited emotion vocabulary. They know four or five emotions. If you just kind of think real quick and go, “What are four or five emotions you know?” you’re going to come up with the standard ones. But emotions are obviously way more subtle than that.

Al:                         And so, one of the ways that we teach on being empathetic is to develop a richer emotional vocabulary. So, when you’re listening to somebody and you’re seeing those micro-expressions or whatever, and you’re sensing where they’re coming from, that you have a richer vocabulary to be able to reflect back, and where people are going, “Oh, yeah, that’s exactly how I feel.” So, I mean, I just wrote down a few here, words you just don’t use very often: baffled, isolated. You just use the word isolated. I’m miffed. Spiteful. Upbeat. I mean, there’s a whole long list of emotional words that you can use beyond anger, frustrated, the standard ones.

Joel:                      One of my favorite ones on your list, Al, and that I hear a lot of people say nowadays in conversation is the word apathetic.

Al:                         Oh, there we go. Yep.

Joel:                      And apathetic is what? The lack of empathy here, the absence of empathy.

Al:                         Yep. Yep.

Joel:                      That’s a cool word.

Al:                         It’s delusion.

Joel:                      And I think that this-

Al:                         They’re bored, they’re baffled, they’re humiliated, they’re feeling helpless.

Joel:                      Intimidated.

Al:                         Those are powerful words. If you get it right, and somebody’s going, “Wow. Yeah, that’s exactly how I feel,” I mean, that’s hugely powerful, in taking somebody that might be pretty hot and get them calmed down and calm the whole situation down.

Joel:                      Yeah, I mean, think about the difference between, if our emotional vocabulary is limited, and we’re trying to talk with someone, maybe one of our children or a peer or someone that we’re really concerned in their outlook, and we say to them, “You’re kind of hostile,” or “your actions are hostile,” how much more descriptive and how much does it really drill down to the essence of what they’re feeling and how they’re behaving? Is the word vindictive?

Al:                         Yeah, exactly. Yep. Yep.

Joel:                      Right. You’re not saying you’re kind of being hostile about that. But think, if it was a vindictive behavior, if you’re able to share with them, that’s a vindictive behavior. And as far as our own emotional well-being is, if we’re self-examining and we’re thinking, “I’m really angry at this person, I’m really hostile in my actions toward this person,” is to think, “Is what I’m doing vindictive?” And if we are people who care about our own character and care about how we appear to others or affect others, then understanding our own vindictive behavior in certain situations is certainly going to help us modify it.

Al:                         Yep. And you and I’ve talked a lot about this, but there’s also, there’s still a lot of research that’s going on right now in this world of empathy, a lot of research. And what they’ve found are just two very interesting things. There’s way more than this, but two interesting things, not surprising but interesting, is that people have a very easy time being empathetic with people that are in their, what’s described as their in-group, right? Their friends, their close family, their coworkers, people that they have an emotional connection to, it’s very, very easy to feel that empathetic response, understand where their emotions are coming from, be able to label those emotions.

Al:                         But then if you take that same person who otherwise is an empathetic person, really understands where people are coming from, and you put them in a group of what’s called their out-group, people they don’t know as well, people in a different race or different cultural background or religion or whatever, they have a tough time with empathy. And there’s a huge distinction in terms of their level of the ability to be empathetic between their in-group and their out-group.

Joel:                      Yeah. That’s why we have wars, Al.

Al:                         There we go.

Joel:                      Is we’re able to quickly identify who the out-group is. They don’t put them in uniforms just because it helps with any identification, but it also gives us an object to hate.

Al:                         Yep.

Joel:                      And so, it’s if we could really extend empathy between ourselves, between nations, between peoples of different faith, of different backgrounds, boy, that’d be heaven on earth, wouldn’t it?

Al:                         Well, but what we teach is that if you’re aware of that, if you go, “I’m a pretty empathetic person” and whatever, and friends, family, whatever, and everybody tells you, “Oh, yeah, you really have a sense for what’s going on. You always seem to have the right thing to say,” whatever, just an awareness that now if you’re with somebody that’s in your out-group, different political affiliation, different ethnicity, different educational level, you have to work harder at that. This is not going to come as natural. You can’t just assume the response you’ve had with your family is going to be the same with this out-group. And so, you got to work harder. You got to apply these things we just described. You’ve got to do more of that and really work at it to say, “How do I get myself in their shoes, so I can do a good job of conflict management, customer service,” whatever it is your goal is.

Joel:                      Yep. Yeah. To be good at it, it has to be believable. And where we’re believable is by managing our non-verbal and paraverbal communication, not just reading off of a script.

Al:                         And this, I think you just used it. You and I were both down in New Orleans for a bunch of time, and the term we use internally here is, we use the term paraverbal. It’s a term that’s not used much. I think people know what non-verbals are, all your facial expressions and body posture, body language, all that stuff. But the paraverbals, it’s a term a lot of people haven’t heard before. So Joel, describe that briefly because that’s obviously really important.

Joel:                      Well, paraverbal is really a form of non-verbal communication, but it encapsulates more what we hear than what we see. Non-verbal communication, body language, eye contact, facial expressions. If a person’s slouching, it says something about them or their mood. Maybe it’s just their physical condition but it may be their emotional condition as well. Those are the easy ones, really. And we can all get better at reading those. But a person’s tone and volume of voice, those are their paraverbals, how they sound. Do they sound, when I think of your list of emotions, can you hear skepticism in a person’s tone of voice? And yeah, you can.

Al:                         Yeah. Yep.

Joel:                      Right. Can you hear if they’re afraid, can you hear if they’re panicking, can you hear if they’re overwhelmed? Can you feel, can you sense helplessness in a person’s tone of voice? The big emotions are easy. If they’re yelling, they’re angry.

Al:                         Right, right.

Joel:                      You get that.

Al:                         Yep.

Joel:                      Right. But the subtle nuances, a parent is good. Most parents, I think, are good at reading the emotions of their children. And a good husband is good at reading the emotions of his husband or wife or a wife, her spouse. And I think my wife and I have a good paraverbal communication, although sometimes, I still miss the cues. But really, when you’re talking about that out-group, you’re talking about, and when you’re talking about seeing it day in and day out and you’re talking about compassion fatigue-

Al:                         Right.

Joel:                      This is all that my heart can stand, as I’ve seen too many fathers die. I’ve seen too many children in distress, that you just shut that part of ourselves off. And that resilience training is something that I really want to know more about, for the sake of healthcare providers and their patients.

Al:                         So, I’m going to share one more piece of data that probably deserves a whole podcast by itself. I’ve been joking about this for probably 40 years in my career, which suggests I’m a little older, but this guy, I’m trying to remember. Oh, the name of the book was The Power Paradox. I think I might’ve mentioned it in a previous podcast. But this guy’s done a whole bunch of research about how, that people that are generally empathetic, as they move higher and higher within an organization and get more and more power, that empathy disappears. And it’s not just the cognitive empathy. They actually, according to the research, they actually lose the ability to have that emotional empathy where they’re actually feeling what other people are feeling. There’s something about that, being in that more powerful position that causes that part of the brain to shut down or get goofed up or something.

Al:                         And I’ve seen it and you have too, and I’ve seen it for, I don’t know how many times we’ve sat at lunch and we looked at each other, met a bunch of middle managers and we said, “How the heck did that CEO ever become the CEO? How did he ever get there?” Based on his level of empathy and concern for others and whatever. And it could be that when he was a middle manager, he was just as empathetic as anybody else but as he got into those senior roles, he ended up getting himself in trouble.

Joel:                      Yeah. I know, I’ve read the studies over the years. They’ve done things like study the chief executive officers of well-known corporations or several corporations and found that they had high levels of narcissistic personality disorder and such. Now, they’re questioning, the common wisdom was, “Nice guys finish last” and they got to be the CEO because they didn’t care about anybody else except their own success. And that mirrored into the success of the company, just came along as an incidence. Because if the company benefited, they’d benefit. Now, it seems that turning some of the research, can we take someone who’s a nice guy and turn them into a narcissist? So, I’m very skeptical of that because it goes against my overall world view, but I’m open to it. I want to hear that. But when I think about Machiavelli’s famous quote, “It’s much safer to be feared than loved.”

Al:                         Yep.

Joel:                      Right? That was his whole notion that, to take over, to govern effectively, or to occupy a country militarily effectively, the goal is not to win their hearts and minds, but to build fear and ownership.

Al:                         Well, you knew the quote. I’m not going to get it right but I think you knew it because we talked about this a few weeks ago. What is it? “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Do I have it right?

Joel:                      Yeah. Something like that. Yeah.

Al:                         Yeah.

Joel:                      Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Yep.

Al:                         Cool. So I’m going to leave with one idea here and then hopefully, this recording with Alex will happen here shortly and we’ll continue this discussion about empathy. But I just want to re-emphasize how important it is that, one, yeah, you got to have the feeling of the emotion, two is, you got to be, yeah, you got to put yourself in their shoes and make sure you see the world through their eyes and all that. But the third step is a critical one, which is actually acting on all that and then demonstrating concern. That third step is the most important. And we’ve got to make sure we’re doing that.

Joel:                      Yep. It’s absolutely essential.

Al:                         Cool. Okay, Joel, always have fun talking to you. We’ll get on another one here shortly. Thanks so much.

Joel:                      Great. Thanks, Al.

Al:                         Bye-bye.

Joel:                      Bye.