Empathy Training

No 2, 1.4.21

Dear Friends,

During my nine years hosting the ABCTV interview show One Plus One I received excellent empathy training.

Some five-hundred guests shared their experience of the journey to become who they are. Sitting across from them and giving them my full-attention was a simple but effective exercise. My empathy muscles got a great workout.

Empathy is in the news right now and I’ve just finished writing about it in my book on the art of conversation: A Good Talk. It’s my ‘witness statement’ as someone described it, on creating respectful conversation and it’s due out in August.

We could all use an empathy refresher course. It might also be a good time to re-examine notions of ‘righteousness’ and ‘crucifixion’ too.

My solution is a question: how well do you listen?

I recently joined the advisory board of Stay Kind, a not-for-profit movement encouraging every-day kindness. The movement was founded by Ralph and Kathy Kelly, parents of Thomas who died in an attack in Kings Cross in 2012 and his brother Stuart, who took his life four years later.
I’m dedicating April to listening; discovering all I can about actionable kindness. I’m delighted to be working with Stay Kind on the #KindJuly campaign.

Before I go:

I have a beautiful new website thanks to Matthew McCarthy and team at Clear Design. Since last year’s lockdown Matthew has brought together stories of joy and motivation in the Isolation Diaries. I’m grateful to be featured this month.

There are still a few places left on my Southern Highlands tour in June 2021
I contributed to the book The Beijing Bureau which is published on 19 April.

Wishing you a Happy Easter and Passover (Orthodox Easter and Ramadan aren’t far away) and to those of you affected by the recent deluge, sending kindness your way.

Jane x

PS Thanks for your lovely reaction to my first newsletter. I’m still working through them! To show your support, can you forward this to someone who’d like it so our community can grow?