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Google discovered that the key to high-performing teams is psychological safety.1 Harvard professor Noam Wesserman discovered that 65% of startups fail due to co-founder conflict2. Finally, innovation strategist Dev Patnaik discovered that the biggest differentiator of innovative companies was their ability to connect with their customers3

The common denominator to these discoveries? Their solution involves realizing empathy.

intro (half or full day)


For Individuals

For Co-Working Teams

immersive (two days)


For Co-Founders or Executives

For Remote Teams

For Consultants or Expert Advisors

For Interdisciplinary Collaborators

testimonials

Anonymous / Manager / Female / 50s
at a fortune 500 software product company


Prior to the workshop, I was managing two groups in conflict. As their leader, I felt responsible for bringing peace and harmony to their relationship. I thought that’s what I should do as a leader who cares: to solve their problem. I thought this was being empathic. But this was not working. It was draining my energy and the conflict stood in our way so that we could not progress in the common tasks.

What the workshop taught me was that “No,” I don’t have to solve their problem. That is not what it means to be ‘empathic.’ In fact, the more I try to connect to them, the less energy I had to work with them. This is the paradox I have learned since the workshop.

I now feel that my energy is no longer drained. They are directed toward a shared purpose myself and the team has discovered together. The energy now brings everyone forward. I also have more energy to work on what matters the most to me.

Ricardo Casanovas / CTO & Co-Founder / Male / 40s
at linke it, a software consulting company


Me and my co-founder have grown our company to around 50 people over 7 years. In this process, we’ve always felt something was missing, but didn’t realize exactly what that was and how to go about filling that void. The workshop helped answer that question.

The workshop made us realize that since finding our company, we have focused mostly on technical development, and not enough on the human-to-human interaction. The workshop woke up something within me and my co-founder so strong that soon after the workshop, we held a company-wide meeting to share what we learned from the workshop.

We have now begun our journey of paying greater attention to the human-element within our company as well as developing greater sensitivity to the cultural differences between us and our clients. It’s become clear that the topic of empathy is valuable to improving the effectiveness of our business in more ways than we thought.

Andreas Gautsch / Software Architect / Male / 30s
at hella, a high-tech product company


Before the workshop, I didn’t imagine that empathy mattered much. But Seung Chan then showed just how much I can improve my business relationships by realizing my empathy.

After the workshop, Seung Chan challenged us to take the next 3 months to practice the art of realizing empathy in our work lives. I did, and the result was phenomenal.

One of the most important things I learned in this process is that some people have a different preference for communication. Specifically, that they prefer to hear the conclusion first before hearing about the story of how I arrived at the conclusion. I have practiced this diligently and deliberately and have become much more comfortable with it.

For a very long time, I’ve been wanting to ensure my message is more effectively transferred from me to another person. This workshop helped me achieve that. Now I worry less that my thoughts will not be heard or fully communicated. This has brought about a significant positive change to my life.

Anonymous / UX Researcher / Female / 40s
at a fortune 500 software product company


This workshop is intense. It stays with you for a long time until it settles.

Since the workshop, I now see more clearly how and why cooperation and collaboration are hampered within organizations. In the absence of empathy, we easily judge people as “playing politics,” instead of seeking to learn what is really going on. People are not always willing to share what is really going on, either. What results from this is a lack of trust. Not only with our colleagues, but also with the stakeholders. Since people don’t speak honestly with one another, prejudice remains and trust deteriorates.

What I learned from the workshop is that without being able to empathize with each other, losing trust becomes easy while building or recovering trust becomes difficult. This is especially so with upper management. Realizing empathy with upper management was not a topic I gave much thought prior to the workshop. I have become much more sensitized to this ever since. This is not an easy challenge, so I plan to continue work on this front.

workshop one

Intro to Realizing Empathy

Intro to Human Interaction Design (Alternate Title)


For Individuals

This workshop is for individuals wishing to more effectively lead, work with, or support people in their professional or personal lives. Whether they are your customers, co-founders, co-workers, superiors, subordinates, students, or family members, this workshop will help you kickstart a process of (re)designing your interactions with yourself and others for the better. During the workshop, you will also get a chance to practice your new design with others.

This workshop can be delivered in half-day to cover Part 1 only or full-day to cover both Part 1 and 2.

  1. Part 1 Learning Objectives (4 hours)
    • Understand why our typical approaches to human-human interactions can sometimes not only be ineffective, but also make things worse.
    • Understand how realizing empathy produces solutions without problem solving.
    • Understand how realizing empathy helps resolve conflicts in professional or personal partnerships. (i.e. teams, co-founders, married couples)
    • Become aware of how you’re getting in your own way of leading, working with, or supporting other people with greater effectiveness and sustainability.
    • Become aware of what may be making it difficult for other people to realize their empathy with you.
    • Gain clarity on what you personally want and need from your relationships.
  2. Part 2 Learning Objectives (4 hours)
    • Gain clarity on what new behaviors are required to fulfill your needs and wants for your relationships.
    • Gain clarity on a single measure of “success” that will indicate to you that your interaction with others is improving.
    • Prototype your first human-human interaction design that aims to fulfill both your needs and wants as well as others’.
    • Optionally pair up with an accountability buddy to continue prototyping and developing your designs for the next 3 months.

For Co-Working Teams

This workshop is for teams wishing to take their performance to the next level. Whether you are a single disciplinary team of designers, engineers, physicians, nurses, researchers, etc or a multi-disciplinary team crossing all the above disciplines, this workshop will help you kickstart a process of (re)designing your interactions with yourself and each other for improved performance. During the workshop, you will also get a chance to practice your new design with others.

This workshop can be delivered in half-day to cover Part 1 only or full-day to cover both Part 1 and 2.

  1. Part 1 Learning Objectives (4 hours)
    • Understand why our typical approaches to human-human interactions can sometimes not only be ineffective, but also make things worse.
    • Understand how realizing empathy produces solutions without problem solving.
    • Understand how realizing empathy promotes high-performance in teams.
    • Become aware of what is making it difficult for people to perform at their best with each other.
    • Gain clarity on what eveyone in the team wants and needs from each other to perform at their best.
  2. Part 2 Learning Objectives (4 hours)
    • Gain clarity on what behaviors are required to fulfill our needs and wants for each other.
    • Gain clarity on a single measure of “success” that will indicate to everyone that team performance is rising to the next level.
    • Prototype the first human-human interaction design that aims to fulfill each other’s needs and wants.
    • Optionally pair up with an accountability buddy to continue prototyping and developing each team member’s designs for the next 3 months.

workshop two

Empathic Conversation Immersive

Human Interaction Design Immersive (Alternate Title)


For Co-Founders or Executives

This workshop is for business co-founders that have experienced conflict and are willing to design a new form of interaction in response. Through the workshop you will learn to see your relationship to each other from a new perspective and begin to (re)design your interactions for the better. During the workshop, you will also get a chance to practice your new design with others.

  • Learning Objectives (14 hours)
    • Become aware of when co-founders or executives lose trust or develop contempt for each other.
    • Become aware of when people value their co-founders.
    • Understand why our typical approach to conversation can unintentionally lead co-founders to lose trust or develop contempt for each other.
    • Understand the guiding principles of empathic conversation and how they can develop a stronger and more effective co-founder partnership.
    • Practice applying the guiding principles of empathic conversation to co-founder or executive partnership.

    For Remote Teams

    This workshop is for remote team members that have experienced the various social challenges of remote teamwork and are willing to design a new form of interaction in response. Through the workshop you will learn to see your relationships to each other from a new perspective and begin to (re)design your interactions for the better. During the workshop, you will also get a chance to practice your new design with others.

  • Learning Objectives (14 hours)
    • Become aware of when people dread remote teamwork.
    • Become aware of when people value remote teamwork.
    • Understand why our typical approach to conversation can unintentionally lead people to dread remote teamwork.
    • Understand the guiding principles of empathic conversation and how they can help remote team members feel less isolated and work more effectively with each other.
    • Practice applying the guiding principles of empathic conversation to remote teamwork.

    For Consultants or Expert Advisors

    This workshop is for consultants or expert advisors that have experienced difficulty getting their expertise used and are willing to design a new form of interaction in response. Through the workshop you will learn to see your relationship with your client from a new perspective and begin to (re)design your interactions for the better.

  • Learning Objectives (14 hours)
    • Become aware of when clients resist or ignore consultants’ expertise.
    • Become aware of when clients value consultants’ expertise.
    • Understand why our typical approach to conversation can unintentionally lead clients to resist our expertise.
    • Understand the guiding principles of empathic conversation and how they can facilitate effective consulting.
    • Practice applying the guiding principles of empathic conversation to consulting.

    For Interdisciplinary Collaborators

    This workshop is for professionals that have experienced difficulty collaborating across disciplines and are willing to design a new form of interaction in response. Through the workshop you will learn to see your relationship with each other from a new perspective and begin to (re)design your interactions for the better.

  • Learning Objectives (14 hours)
    • Become aware of when people resist or even actively sabotage interdisciplinary collaboration.
    • Become aware of when people value interdisciplinary collaboration.
    • Understand why our typical approach to conversation can unintentionally lead people to resist or even actively sabotage interdisciplinary collaboration.
    • Understand the guiding principles of empathic conversation and how they can more fully leverage the creative potential of interdisciplinary collaboration.
    • Practice applying the guiding principles of empathic conversation to interdisciplinary collaboration.

    workshop three

    Custom Content and Retreat Facilitation


    Workshop content and duration can be customized to fit your situation and needs.

    Please use the invitation form to articulate your situation and needs.

    1. The Five Keys to a Successful Google Team
    2. Founder’s Dillemma
    3. Wired to Care

    selected past sponsors + venues