Applied Empathy

I’ve recently been receiving management/leadership coaching for work which has been what will hopefully be a transformative experience. The timing has been particularly appropriate as I look to finally unplug from a technical focus and approach work (and life) more holistically.

In the course of that coaching I was provided a copy of Applied Empathy (1) which was consumed fairly quickly. The book has a lot of useful information, though I honestly needed to quickly skim through it to remember what that was as some other recent books on similar subjects have taken far firmer root in my memory.

What is likely the core value that this book delivers is a practical framework that could be applied to encourage empathic thinking. The definition of assorted archetypes and models provides a clear path in both reappraising individual scenarios along with fostering more expansive exploration of how things are likely to be perceived.

The proferred value of empathy itself did not feel relevatory but was well supported. This book does suffer from what seems to be a common affliction (which likely has a name I should track down) where a fairly narrow ideology is stretched past obvious applicability and is treated in isolation rather than being contextualized with alternative relevant ideas. This likely stems from some of the underlying topics being fairly massive and this book being fairly short, but offering empathy as an independent solution to larger organizational concerns feels simplistic both in terms of an organization itself and the dynamic environment in which it operates.

Overall this books provides some useful practices to incorporate into a toolkit but the hawking of empathy as a tonic for a range of business issues warrants a grain of salt.

VENTURA, Michael. Applied empathy [online]. Atria Books, 2019. Available from: