Empathy, compassion, work: Part 1, with Michael Ventura

In this episode, Damon meets with Michael Ventura, CEO and founder of Sub Rosa, and author of Applied Empathy. Together they explore topics such as how a manager can assess empathy levels, the kind of questions an empathetic leader should ask, what empathetic decision-making looks like, and whether a manager can build a team that fosters empathy when the larger the organization doesn’t.

Intuitively, you might get the sense that empathy and compassion play a key part in the making of a Culture First organization. Yet their definitions, inherent differences, and potential downfalls remain somewhat of a blur, especially in the context of the workplace.


The next two episodes of the Culture First podcast are dedicated to bringing clarity and applicable knowledge around these skills. Part 1 focuses on applied empathy, while Part 2 will bring compassion fatigue into the light.

Next, we hear from Stacey Nordwall, Culture Amp’s People Program Lead about hardwiring empathy within the fabric of People Operations and employee experience.

Finally, Damon chats with Ellen Sweeney, Senior Director of People Operations at MeUndies, to learn about how the company approaches this, and how you can screen new hires for high levels of empathy.

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