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Empathy, a key ingredient for inclusion

By Fernanda Calvillo, global leader of Culture, Diversity and Inclusión of Grupo Bimbo
Empathy, a key ingredient for inclusion
Grupo Bimbo
México

November is an extraordinary month for Grupo Bimbo. For the sixth consecutive year, we held Global Diversity and Inclusion Month. Since we seek to educate ourselves more on this topic while we celebrate and share who we are, from an intimate and practical perspective.

In each edition, we have developed a concept that gives meaning to all the month's activities. This year we have chosen "A dose of empathy," by which we look forward to raising awareness about how we make a positive difference in our environment with little actions.

Empathy is the ability to connect with others; identify and understand their thoughts, perspectives, and emotions; and demonstrate that understanding with intention, care, and concern *. It is not necessarily something innate, so we must learn to develop it.

Approaching empathy is one of the first steps towards inclusion because it allows us to open ourselves to human interaction and others' experiences before the world around us.

It is straightforward to propose to "put yourself in the place of others"; however, it is challenging to put it into practice. That is why I want to share with you three techniques to develop empathy, proposed by Helen Riess, director of the Empathy and Relational Science Program at Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital.

·     Breathe–Take deep breaths. Maintaining control of your breathing establishes a critical distance that allows mental concentration.

· Detachment – Cultivating detachment allows you to analyze the different repercussions of your decision-making process, but without getting carried away by your thoughts and emotions.

· "Emotional anesthesia" –Helping others requires establishing a healthy emotional distance. Avoiding suffering and identifying with those you are trying to support will allow you to help them instead of grieving or feeling overwhelmed by an excess of emotional empathy.

 I invite you to practice these simple techniques that I am sure will help you approach others with a new perspective. I would love to read in the comments how they practice empathy at work and home.

#aDoseOfEmpathyPerDay

*Source: catalyst.org

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