9 Habits of Empathy with Dr. Michele Borba

Character Strong · June 10, 2020

Dr. Michele Borba has spent decades thinking and teaching about empathy. Her work has revealed that the pathway to a less violent, less hateful, and more connected world is cultivating the skill of empathy. With 24 books under her belt and over 150 appearances on the TODAY show, her insights are rooted in research and are hyper-practical. On this webinar, CharacterStrong’s co-founder Houston Kraft and Dr. Borba spend time thinking about how to come back to school and address trauma, race, and cultivate altruistic leaders. Here is the replay, some key links, and some of the most meaningful, tweetable learnings of their hour together.



The 9 Habits of Empathy

1) Emotional Literacy   

“You can cultivate empathy. It’s not something that is locked into DNA.” @micheleborba on a webinar with @careacter - TWEET THIS

2) Moral Identity.       

“Teach us how to care and we will”  @micheleborba on a webinar with @careacter  - TWEET THIS

3) Perspective Taking

“Empathy is feeling with someone, it’s not feeling for them.” @micheleborba with @careacter - TWEET THIS

4) Moral Imagination

“Use literature and examples as inspiration for students to become more empathetic.” @micheleborba with @careacter - TWEET THIS

5) Self-Regulation                                               

“Self-regulation impacts empathy.” @micheleborba on a webinar with @careacter - TWEET THIS

6) Practice Kindness

“Empathy starts with connection with one person, then our hearts open and the world changes. Not with the masses, but with service to one”. @micheleborba on a webinar with @careacter  - TWEET THIS

7) Collaboration

“Once you seek common ground and not your difference you’re more likely to start working together.”  @micheleborba on a webinar with @careacter - TWEET THIS

8) Moral Courage

“Work slowly until you reach a point of moral courage.” @micheleborba on a webinar with @careacter - TWEET THIS

9) Altruistic Leadership

“Three things: model it, expect it, give opportunities to do good (model, expect, act).” @micheleborba on a webinar with @careacter - TWEET THIS

Dr. Borba reminded us that, “crises amplify preexisting issues”, and there is no doubt we have been living in crises for months, many for a lifetime. We believe that the skill of empathy is one of the most impactful tools we can equip ourselves and our students with. Empathy makes kindness, conversation, reconciliation, and hope possible.


More Amazing Resources 

Watch the Webinar Replay 

Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All About Me World





Character Strong

The CharacterStrong Team is a partnership of educators, speakers, and students who believe in creating sustainable change in schools and helping young people develop the skills of service, kindness, and empathy.