Monthly Article Archives: February 1999

The Importance of Empathy: A Significant Feature of the Mindset of Successful People – Part IRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

I have had the opportunity to offer workshops for parents, educators, healthcare professionals, and business people throughout the United States and abroad. At these presentations I have discussed a variety of topics related to self-esteem, motivation, discipline, resilience, strategies for success, balancing one’s personal and professional life, parenting and family relationships, and creating positive home, school, and business environments. The comments and questions raised at these presentations have provided me with invaluable information about the kinds of issues and topics that are most relevant to those in attendance. While some issues are unique to particular audiences or environments (e.g., teachers; business people), other topics appear to have a universal flavor, impacting on all of us. The path of my career has led me from focusing primarily on “pathology” or what is wrong with people to a more strength-based model. Consequently, I have become increasingly interested in understanding the mindset of parents, teachers, therapists, or leaders who appear to be very successful in these roles. I have wondered if these successful individuals possess common characteristics that can be identified and learned by others. The work of such renowned social scientists as Stephen Covey and Daniel Goleman offer testimony that there are

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