Your Brain on Power

Thanks to David Yamada’s blog Minding the Workplace, I learned about the findings of Dacher Keltner’s and others’ research on empathy and the effect power has on one’s neurology: according to the studies profiled in the story, the more powerful you become, the less able you are to have empathy for others. I contacted Dacher Keltner to see what resources he could share about the “emerging field of research that suggests powerful people who begin to forget their subordinates can be coached back to their compassionate selves.” He wrote back that there were many techniques to teach compassion that could be found at The Greater Good Science Center’s website. I was a little surprised by his answer, because I was expecting to learn about other approaches besides Boss Whispering that had been developed to work specifically with executives or others in positions of authority. Still, teaching compassion seems to be a step in the right direction.

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