Getting to Yes, And

Michael Ventura: Applied Empathy


Michael Ventura

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Getting to Yes, And - Michael Ventura - Rule of Three

Kelly talks to Sub Rosa co-founder Michael Ventura about his new leadership book, “Applied Empathy.”

I’m curious that if prior to writing the book, you used the term ‘empathy’ with your business clients when describing your process?

“I would say we used it sparingly. We used it in what I'll call safe rooms where clients would not hear it the wrong way. There are certainly rooms that we went into and it was a part of the process, but it wasn't kind of overtly called out because people do have a lot of misconceptions.  I think people equate empathy to being nice and that's something we try to disabuse people of fairly early in the process. We say that being nice or sympathetic or compassionate are often side effects of empathy, but empathy unto itself is not that.”

You have this inflection point where your business is struggling, you suffer an injury, you turn to indigenous medicine and then you turn this negative into a positive for you and your business.

“It was what people call a teachable moment. That moment where I realized there was a lot to learn if I'm willing  to listen, if I'm willing to actually dive in. And so my life,  you might say, was kind of bifurcated at that point. And so much as I had the Sub Rosa life that I was leading and continuing to foster and then this indigenous medicine life. But what ended up happening was they became a braided. I just began to practice a whole set of traditions and  realized that it had a place in the everyday work setting.”

What you’re advocating for is looking back and looking forward - but, essentially, a new leadership style in business to meet a new world.

“Look,the world has changed. We all have a device in our pocket that lets us have a customized experience, a personalized experience, every minute of everyday. You know, the world you came up in is gone and you can either romance that and make other people's lives hell or you can evolve to help make them feel welcome in this new modern era in this organization. And it's a hard thing for a lot of leaders to accept because, , if you worked in the salt mines for 20 years before you got that promotion that you wanted, some people feel like that's the only way that you earn your stripes.”

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