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We realize empathy, when we empathize with someone or something we previously did not, through a sudden realization.

One that often makes us go “Ah ha!” “Oh...” or “Ha ha ha!” concerning something we either did not or had incorrectly assumed to understand or appreciate enough.

Empathizing points to B. an experience, where we’re feeling as if we’re connected as one with an “other,” as opposed to A. disconnected or at odds with them.
Hyper-Empathizing points to B′. an experience, where we’re feeling as if there is no or cannot be any distance, distinction, or boundary between ourselves and an “other.”
Empathy is a word invented to explain our potential to move from A. to B. or B′.

About the Director

Executive Performance Coach to Founding CEOs

seung chan lim (slim)

Slim (Seung Chan Lim) envisions a world where each and every one of us, from the moment we are born until the day we die, feel certain there is at least one person we can reach out to at any moment, who can and will support us in the way we actually feel supported.


In 1977, Slim was born in Seoul, (South) Korea. From the age of 6 to 21, he moved from one country to another every 5 years or so. After living in Korea, Egypt, and China, he moved to the US in 1995 for college, where he currently resides.


As an executive performance coach, Slim helps innovative founders mature as a leader and CEO by confronting themselves in a true mirror: a process that also sheds new light on their situation and their stakeholders. He has also coached over 100 founders through Singularity University, SAP, Techstars, and Google.


At 44, Slim has spent 20+ years around the globe witnessing a variety of innovation projects. From this, he’s learned that the leadership performance of innovators significantly decreases when they address interpersonal problems while under stress by blaming themselves or others based on an incorrect assumption of the “real” problem or without an accurate understanding and appreciation of the problem. So when founders get stuck unable to solve a problem in their interpersonal interactions, he first supports them to relieve their stress by seeing the “real” problem or by understanding and appreciating the problem from a new perspective. This helps founders gain not only the wisdom and clarity around how to make progress in their situation, but also the requisite confidence, energy, and room in their mind to navigate the volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous terrain of human interactions. This, in turn, helps the founders learn what it means to lead or manage in "their own way," which hones their ability to navigate the process of innovation in a more healthy and sustainable manner.

Slim (Seung Chan Lim) believes we can mature and innovate by navigating the often difficult journey of realizing empathy in the face of tension.


Slim is the author of the book Realizing Empathy. He has shared the message of this book with people across North America, Europe, and Asia. The book has won a number of awards including the National Indie Excellence® Book Awards: New Non-Fiction for content and the Communication Arts Typography Annual Award of Excellence for design.


Prior to coaching founders, Slim spent the first half of his 22-year career helping Fortune 500 companies and the Department of Defense design innovative high-tech products & services. Innovations he has helped produce have won numerous awards including the CES Innovation award.


More specifically, Slim’s career started in 1999 at MAYA Design (now a Boston Consulting Group Company). From this experience, he learned that breakthroughs in product & service driven innovation arose when companies realized empathy and overcame their unawareness & biases toward their customers.


After leaving behind his career at MAYA Design, he conducted anthropological research at the Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University on how individual artists innovate differently from companies. From this experience, he learned that breakthroughs in individually driven innovation arose when artists realized empathy and overcame their unawareness & biases toward themselves, their subject matters, or their materials.


But that’s not all he learned.


He also experienced symptoms of depression and anxiety disorder, which helped him realize that the bulk of the struggle for those going through innovation is psychological and interpersonal in nature.


Slim now combines his experience in both product & service driven innovation as well as individually driven innovation to guide and accompany Founding CEOs on their journey of innovation for themselves and their companies.


TEDx Talks

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11 min 21 sec.

duration

8 min 44 sec.

Interviews

duration

11 min 21 sec.

duration

8 min 44 sec.