Empathy can fuel personal and societal transformation. Oxford-trained sociologist and philosopher Roman Krznaric identifies six habits of highly empathic people that can help expand our potential.

  • Habit 1:  Cultivate curiosity about strangers (and you will become less lonely)
  • Habit 2:  Challenge prejudices and discover commonalities (and you will find unexpected partnerships)
  • Habit 3:  Try another person’s life (to truly understand their experience)
  • Habit 4:  Listen hard – and open up (remove your disguise, become vulnerable, and make empathy a two-way street)
  • Habit 5:  Inspire group action and social change (stand up for people who are suffering and others will too)
  • Habit 6:  Develop an ambitious imagination (to empathize with people whose beliefs you don’t share)

Like any other habit a commitment to deliberate practice is essential for unlocking our empathic potential. Start with the habit that feels most comfortable to cultivate and then move on to the more challenging ones. 


Morgan Harper Nichols

Let me 

hold the door for you.

I may have 

never walked 

in your shoes,

but I can see 

your soles are worn, 

your strength is torn 

under the weight of a story 

I have never lived before. 

Let me hold the door for you. 

After all you’ve walked through, 

It’s the least I can do.

- Morgan Harper Nichols