Even psychopaths have empathy

You might be thinking that I’ve gone totally bonkers.

Psychopaths have empathy?

Prolific serial killers like Ted Bundy have empathy?

They absolutely do, it’s why they managed to get away with murder for so long.

Empathy is an awareness of other’s emotions, concerns and needs. It often gets confused with sympathy or compassion which is very much based on how we feel in response to someone else’s situation.

Psychopaths work hard to understand people’s drivers and triggers so they can use that knowledge to deceive or manipulate them.

Ted Bundy, for example, would often fake an injury, knowing that young women would feel sorry for him and try to help. His good looks and charm didn’t hurt either.

Empathetically he knew his victims were terrified and their families would grieve their loss, but he had no emotions associated with that, like we would. In fact, it was part of the thrill for him.

Remember empathy is an awareness of other’s emotions, concerns and needs. It’s a skill that you can develop, for example, think about a member of your team. How could you be 10% more aware of their emotions, concerns or needs?

And when you have that awareness, how might you respond in a way that further builds trust and connection?

Because if you want to lead an awesome team, trust and connection are the foundations.

If you want to develop your empathy skill even more, take 2 minutes, 42 seconds and watch this clip from Brené Brown explaining what empathy really is.

How many times have you said, “At least….” this week?

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