Submitted on Fri, November 18, 2011
Defining Leadership for Women in Business (Wharton Journal, Nov. 14)
Empathy and business school? Not the most common association. In this article, a Wharton Business School student writes about some of the gender biases of traditional leadership values, and points to empathy as an undervalued and critical skill for success in business and beyond.
At River Falls' Meyer Middle School, Stopping Bullies by Teaching Empathy (Pioneer Press, Nov. 13)
Empathy is on the rise. Every week, it seems, there’s a story somewhere about a middle school that is intentionally teaching empathy to build a safer and healthier school. This week, our dispatch is from Wisconsin, where one middle school’s focus on character-driven student leadership has had a significant effect on bullying rates. Members of Meyer Middle School's Student Character Committee lead by example and, as a result, not only has bullying gone down, but the number of students standing up to bullies has gone up. "Teaching empathy is the number one way to prevent the bullies from bullying," says the school’s assistant principal.
Is Empathy in Our Genes? (CNN, Nov. 15)
We’re hard-wired for empathy; scientists have known that for a while. But recent studies suggest that the degree to which we’re wired to be open, feeling, caring, and trusting may also be linked to specific genotypes. In an experiment at Oregon State University, researchers found that people labeled by observers as empathetic (based purely on visual cues) consistently possessed a particular genotype. This does not suggest that we can’t all learn to be empathetic, but some folks may naturally be a little farther along.