Empathizing can be very difficult.
We realize empathy, when we empathize with someone or something, through an unexpected realization.
One that might make us go “Ah ha!” “Oh...” or “Ha ha ha!” concerning something we either did not or had incorrectly assumed to have understood or appreciated enough.
Realizing empathy moves us to empathize with someone or something we previously did not.
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 Founder-CEOs
seung chan lim (slim)
Slim (Seung Chan Lim) envisions a world where each and every one of us, from the moment we’re born until the day we die, feel certain there’s at least one person we can reach out to at any moment, who can and will support us in a way that actually makes us feel supported.
As an executive performance coach, Slim guides founders in their pursuit of innovation as they transition into a CEO scaling their business beyond Series A. He is particularly known for his ability to help them confront themselves in a true mirror: a process of realizing empathy with themselves and their stakeholders that sheds new light on themselves, their stakeholders, and their situation. He has coached over 100 founders through Singularity University, Techstars, SAP, and Google.
Now in his mid-40s, Slim has spent 20+ years around the globe witnessing a variety of innovation projects. From this, he’s witnessed the leadership performance of innovators significantly decrease when they address problems 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, he first guides them to see the “real” problem or to understand and appreciate the problem from a different perspective. The founders then 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 innovation. This, in turn, helps the founders learn what it means to lead or manage in "their own way," which requires a lot less energy or force to lead.
Slim was born in Seoul, (South) Korea in the 70s. 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 for college, where he currently resides.
Slim believes the key to developing ourselves as leaders and human beings lies in realizing empathy with ourselves and others 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 founder-CEOs, 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 the late 90s 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 with 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 with themselves, their subject matters, or their materials.
But that’s not all he learned.
He also experienced symptoms of depression and anxiety, 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 founder-CEOs in their journey of innovation not only for their companies, but also for themselves.
11 min 21 sec.
8 min 44 sec.
11 min 21 sec.
8 min 44 sec.