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The Empathy Effect – 7 Keys to Transformation| Heal The Divide Podinar

March 1, 2021


Empathy is really about maintaining a stance of curiosity about another before you move into judgment.”   -Helen Riess


What is empathy and how can you cultivate more of it in your coaching relationships? In this session, Alison Whitmire, President of Learning In Action, welcomes guest Helen Riess, M.D., Chief Scientist and Chairman of Empathetics for an in-depth discussion about empathy and how to use it in skillful and healthy ways in your work as a coach.

Dr. Riess is Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Empathy and Relational Science Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, and the author of the book, The Empathy Effect: Seven Neuroscience-Based Keys for Transforming the Way We Live, Love, Work, and Connect Across Differences.

Understanding Empathy

To understand empathy, it’s helpful to define a few terms that are commonly used.

Empathic capacity is a term that describes not just the ability to perceive another’s emotions, it also includes the whole spectrum of processing what’s perceived and responding.

Empathic accuracy is understanding another’s emotions correctly. This is done by processing what you are sensing and then checking in with the other person to be sure what you have sensed is correct.

Empathic concern is the motivator that happens when you perceive someone in pain or suffering and you experience discomfort or concern. When you react by actively doing something to help, this is compassion. It can be helpful to know that being empathetic and being compassionate are different.

Compassion involves some kind of action and can be described as is the outward manifestation of empathy, or being moved by somebody else’s plight or suffering. (more…)

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Creating Experiences That Matter: The Science of Human Connection | Heal The Divide Podinar

January 5, 2021

“To create meaningful experiences it’s got to be entertaining. It’s got to have a story. You’ve got to give me a reason to care because my lazy brain just wants to idle. And really have authentic emotion.” – Paul Zak


How can we create experiences that are more engaging, more human, and more connected?

Paul Zak, founder and Chief Immersion Officer of Immersion Neuroscience, joins Alison Whitmire for an interactive Heal The Divide Podinar session to discuss how we can intentionally design effective learning experiences — those where participants remember information and are motivated to act on the new knowledge they have gained.

Paul Zak is the founding director of the Center of Neuroeconomics Studies and professor of Economic Psychology and Management at Claremont Graduate University.

In a quest to understand the neuroscience of human connection, human happiness, and effective teamwork, Paul’s two decades of research have taken him from the Pentagon to Fortune 50 boardrooms and to the rain forests of Papua New Guinea. His research on oxytocin and relationships has earned him the nickname Dr. Love. (more…)

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How to Cultivate Inner Stability | Heal The Divide Podinar

November 17, 2020

What does it mean to cultivate inner stability in these challenging times?

In this session, Alison Whitmire, President of Learning In Action is joined by special guest Sheryl Netzky, for a conversation about how we can make meaning in these times of incredible change, and some experiential practices for connecting with our inner life force energy.

Sheryl Netzky is the founder of Good Energy LLC and the Golden Mind Meditation technique. Sheryl is a combination of a business consultant, executive coach, meditation teacher, and holistic energy healer who helps entrepreneurs, teams, and families connect to themselves and others. Sheryl also facilitates workshops for companies and groups internationally, including thought leaders on Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island and for the Gates Foundation’s teacher-leaders.


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Trauma and the Coaching Relationship: What’s In the Way Is the Way | Heal The Divide Podinar

October 27, 2020

What is our role as coaches in working with trauma and how can we recognize the signs of trauma in clients?

In this session, Alison Whitmire, President of Learning In Action is joined by special guest Dr. Sean Oakes, for a conversation exploring what trauma looks like and how we can skillfully navigate it in the coaching relationship.

Dr. Sean Oakes is a Buddhist teacher and a performance studies scholar. He works at the intersection of contemplative practice, healing, and social action. Sean has trained to work with trauma and has studied Somatic Experiencing and Organic Intelligence.


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Conscious Leadership for Coaching: Aligning Your Thinking, Caring, and Doing for Meaningful Results | Heal The Divide Podinar

October 19, 2020


“We thrive when we recognize a fundamental interconnectedness of all things in the universe, including all people. And when we can bring that interconnectedness on top of the interpersonal and the internal, we now have some profound leadership opportunities.”  

-Eric Kaufmann

What is conscious leadership and what does it look like in practice? In this session, Alison Whitmire, President of Learning In Action, welcomes guest Eric Kaufmann, founder and president of Sagatica, Inc. for an in-depth conversation about Conscious Leadership and how we can practice it.

Eric Kaufmann is an executive coach, speaker, and author of Four Virtues of a Leader. Nineteen years ago, Eric quit his corporate gig to form an executive development consultancy. He describes his work as an unrelenting commitment to results and an unyielding regard for the human spirit. He is a thought leader for the Institute of Coaching at Harvard, former business chair, and TEDx speaker.

The Foundations of Conscious Leadership

We are at a time in history where religion and government no longer have the influence they once did. Moral authority has transferred over to business and commerce, as these entities have become the shapers of our society. Business leaders are unprepared and often unaware of the role they’re playing as leaders in their organizations and also leaders of humanity. For many, this is a role they didn’t sign up for, yet one that calls them to a new kind of leadership. 

This new call to leadership brings with it the need for us to recognize this truth: Life and leadership itself are fraught with uncertainty. And it is this groundlessness of life that is a significant part of what it means to awaken to being a conscious leader. At its essence, consciousness calls on the leader to engage from a transcendent, life-centered perspective. (more…)

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