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EQ and Empathy: 7 Strategies Every Leader Should Integrate into Today’s Hybrid World | Recorded Webinar


60 minutes

We are facing a very new reality today. For some of us, this reality is the result of technology disruption, while for others, it’s a shift in how we do business. The need for leaders to build different techniques and approaches in meeting the needs of their team members and clients is now! 

We have spent the last several years building our emotional and social intelligence and, most importantly, making our ability to empathize.  What EQ/Empathy Strategies can today’s leader implement in today’s new workplace that results in positive and impactful change?


Attendees will learn

  • How to differentiate between Cognitive and Emotional Empathy
  • How Empathy can impact your overall business strategy
  • Which Empathy approaches are found in our most familiar technology apps
  • Which EQ techniques have the greatest impact on Empathy 
  • 7 questions every leader should ask when redesigning work


Who should attend

  • HR and training professionals
  • Managers and supervisors
  • Anyone in customer service





Judith Cardenas

Judith Cardenas is the President and CEO of Strategies By Design, a boutique consulting firm helping organizations across the globe to innovate and design successful solutions and experiences for their clients. She has spent the last 10+ years empowering leaders and organizations to execute their vision and reach their goals through processes focused on innovation, change, and co-creation.

Her academic background includes a doctorate in education administration, as well as a doctorate in training and performance improvement. She has completed a variety of postdoctoral training, including leadership development at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, Professional for Return on Investment from Villanova University plus holds a number of certifications in Innovation and Design Thinking.

Judith has created and delivered training to organizations and agencies such as the World Bank, United Nations, QVC, Inc., Phillips Semiconductor, U. S. Navy, U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Agency and U.S. Army, National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development/UT Austin and American College of Radiology.  Connect with Judith on Twitter and LinkedIn.



At Strategies by Design Group, we specialize in supporting Leaders and Organizations that are ready to innovate faster and more successfully – and want to design better solutions, or experiences for their customers and employees. We help foster the culture of innovation needed to stay competitive in today’s modern, ever-changing market, apply innovative techniques and approaches to achieve immediate engagement and growth, and enhance the connection between behavior design and human centric design. Learn more at:

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7 Responses

  1. Question: How can you differentiate empathy versus compassion?

    Answer: So sometimes I can be empathetic both, from a cognitive and emotional perspective. But it doesn’t actually call me to take any kind of action. And compassion, what we find, at least how people have defined compassion, is that many times, compassionate leaders are people who are compassionate about a purpose, or, in the bad, tend to take action quicker. So I might be empathetic from a cognitive perspective. But that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to take any action. It just means that, I understand where you’re coming from. You do want a level of compassionate, of compassion to be included in your empathy training. You want some type of action that will occur most, but we suggest that would occur as close to the timing of the actual event or interaction between the client and the employee or the client and the team or the team members. So you’re going to want to have some level of compassion that’s expressed by action that’s included in your empathy training or empathy building of your employees.

  2. Question: How can we help our team leaders to effectively communicate with empathy?

    Answer: So I would suggest, first of all, maybe doing a culture map activity, and that’s basically understanding what is the organization value, what does the organization reward, what are some behaviors that are not rewarded in the organization. And then understand a bit about how we want that culture of your team to actually be expressed. That would be the first place. The reason I say start there is because you want to have a direct connection and correlation between the culture of your organization and how you want your team to function. It’s almost a disaster when your team functions at a high empathetic level, but the culture of the organization does not, you want to make sure to have alignment from the start. Then what I would do is I would do a communication audit. And that’s simply about, who do we communicate with? How do we communicate? Those things will help you design scenario empathetic activities. This is where I’ve had, you know, most issue, this is where I’ve been the most successful in communicating, helping your team understand the difference between empathy and sympathy, and even having them understand the different types of empathy’s. It’s a big eye-opener. It was an eye-opener for me that there was just like more than one type of empathy that’s out there. I would definitely focus on doing that communication audit, to understand where they’re struggling. And then I would start building up their empathy capability.

  3. Question: How can teams who are struggling with discussion around diversity, equity, and inclusion, use, empathy and technology to help them work through it?

    Answer: So, we actually have a scenario that we use with the toy around diversity, equity, and inclusion. And I always like to say, you know, you might be invited to the dance. But have you really been invited to dance? You know how you differentiate that again and then again. It goes back to the sympathy and empathy question. So, number one, I do align diversity, inclusivity, diversity, equity, and inclusivity, types of activities. There is a difference between understanding them and getting in the mud with them versus understanding how to actually design solutions and how to communicate the belief of diversity, equity and inclusivity. There is a direct correlation between the empathy and sympathy discussion we’ve been having very much so, that can evolve. When we actually work with our toy in particular. People define things differently. They come from different backgrounds, they put value on things that are differently. There’s no judgement. So, creating a space where there is no judgement, creating a space, to understand that maybe the way I am giving direction maybe be very offensive to somebody, I’m thinking, yeah, might be helpful, they might be thinking, you’re very intrusive. So having that started those discussions in a safe space, I would say that that psychological safety is what the game has given us.

  4. Question: If you can provide specific examples of sympathy, versus empathy, and how to help leaders understand that difference.

    Answer: So, I would say that when someone can say, I feel with you versus, I feel, for you. Is the biggest differentiator. So I’ll go back to the scenario I talked about. It was with the team leader of a large government organization, and he believed that he was really being empathetic to his team members that he felt like he was listening to them, that he understood what their needs were. And when asking him how he would express that, you would constantly be telling them, I feel you, I feel you, I feel for you. Versus, I feel with you, and I understand where you are going through. Those are two very different things. If you’re feeling with someone, and you’re in their emotion, it’s extremely hard. For you to be empathetic, you’re more sympathetic. But if you feel with someone, and you understand their emotion, versus for someone, then that’s more empathetic.

  5. Question: What are some specific examples of virtual empathy building activities?

    Answer: So, one of them was the toy. And I’ll be more than happy to share with the audience. A couple of examples, some images that we use, even if we don’t have a toy, where we actually can bring teams together. We actually will always name a builder, and the guide. So, there’s always a builder and a guide scenario. And what we do is, we play with different formats of how that guide actually tells the builder what to build. They could actually turn their camera off, and turn sound off, and they might only give direction via chat. We’ve had situations where we’ve had the chat off, the sound off and the video off, and they only receive the message to be an e-mail, and they have to figure out what the e-mail tells them as a builder to build. We’ve had scenarios where we actually only have messaging via text message. So, I’ll be more than happy to share with everyone on the call, I can, we’ll send out an image of an example of a guide builder activity. And you can use that to build and start the discussions around empathy.

  6. Question: Leaders often think that empathy and accountability are on opposing sides. How do you help them realize that they can coexist on the same side?

    Answer: So, oftentimes, we talk about accountability in a lot of different ways. First thing I would do is get very clear of how the company is defining accountability. Is accountability responding in a certain way, responding with a certain period of time? So I’ve worked with companies who their response rate had to be so fast that their messaging was so not on point. So, what I would suggest is that I do believe empathy and accountability go hand in hand. I think you can be accountable to your organization, as well as to your customers, but done in a way in which words actually do matter. How you express that you can actually are listening to the customer’s questions, or suggestions or complaints, have a lot to do with whether or not you’re going to have a re retention with your customers. So, understanding where the retention element comes from, and for many customers, it’s emotional. So, accountability, empathy do go hand in hand, and I believe empathy is a way to express accountability, but it can be expressed in such a way that it expresses both cognitive and emotional empathy.

  7. WHAT DO YOU THINK? In 2021, Forbes identified Empathy as the most critical leadership skill in today’s workplace. What question could you ask during an interview to identify an empathetic employee or leader?

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