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The Other Side of Empathy

The Other Side of Empathy

Given at EmpireJS 2015, this talk expands the original idea of The Other Side of Empathy spoken about at previous meetups and gives real life examples of using empathy as we work together on making awesome products for the web and beyond.

The original essay can be read here: https://the-pastry-box-project.net/nick-hehr/2014-july-5



April 26, 2015


  1. The Other Side of Empathy

  2. None
  3. Who Am I?

  4. Who Am I? • Nick Hehr • Front-End Developer •

    Disney Fan • Bouldering Enthusiast • Human
  5. None
  6. Why Do I Care?

  7. Why Do I Care? Psychology & Leadership Degree Constant Collaboration

    w/ Designers & Devs I Community
  8. None
  9. Who Should Care?

  10. Everybody

  11. None
  12. What Is Empathy?

  13. What Is Empathy? “The ability to understand and share the

    feelings of another.” - New Oxford American Dictionary
  14. What Is Empathy? “Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.”

  15. What Is Empathy? “Seeing the world through the eyes of

    someone else.”

  16. Where Did The Other Side of Empathy Come From?

  17. Where Did It Come From? • Using Twitter • Snap

    Judgements • Mob Mentality • Design Orlando • The Pastry Box Project
  18. Breakdown

  19. Breakdown Context Constructive Feedback Communication Caring

  20. Context

  21. – dictionary.com “The interrelated conditions in which something exists.”

  22. The internal and external factors that influence the decisions we

    make and actions we take.
  23. How It Relates

  24. How It Relates • No One is Un-Opinionated • We

    All Have Biases • Listening is Key • “Why?”
  25. None
  26. Set The Example

  27. Example User Stories with Gherkin

  28. –Wikipedia “It captures the ‘who’, ‘what’, and ‘why’ of a

    requirement in a simple, concise way…”
  29. Remembering Context

  30. Remembering Context • Take A Deep Breath • Clear Your

    Mind • Ask “Why?” (sincerely) • Listen
  31. Constructive Feedback

  32. - dictionary.com “The return of information about the result of

    a process that helps to develop or improve that process or product.”
  33. How It Relates

  34. How It Relates “If you don’t have anything nice to

    say, then don’t say anything at all.”
  35. None
  36. How It Relates “If you don’t have anything nice to

    say, then don’t say anything at all.”
  37. How It Relates “If you don’t have anything nice to

    say, then don’t say anything at all.”
  38. How It Relates “If you don’t have anything constructive to

    say, then don’t say anything at all.”
  39. What about negative feedback?

  40. None
  41. Good Feedback > 140 characters

  42. None
  43. Mutually Agreed Upon Set Up Expectations Open Space Remember Context

  44. Example Code Reviews

  45. -Wikipedia “It is intended to find and fix mistakes overlooked

    in the initial development phase, improving both the overall quality of software and the developers' skills.”
  46. Encouraging Constructive Feedback

  47. None
  48. https://github.com/atom/atom/blob/master/ CONTRIBUTING.md

  49. Communication

  50. –New Oxford American Dictionary “The successful conveying or sharing of

    ideas and feelings between people.”
  51. How It Relates

  52. How It Relates • What We Say • How We

    Say It • Where We Say It
  53. Communication is a broad area that encompasses how we interact

    with each other.
  54. “I” Statements For Giving Constructive Feedback For Getting Context

  55. “You” Statements For Getting Context For Giving Constructive Feedback

  56. Example Switching Between Platforms

  57. How We Communicate • General = HipChat • Standups =

    Hangouts / In-Person • Recorded Discussions = GitHub Issues & Trello Cards • Event Planning = Email
  58. Creating Communication

  59. None
  60. None
  61. None
  62. Caring

  63. –New Oxford American Dictionary “Feeling of concern or interest; attach

    importance to something; look after and provide the needs of.”
  64. How It Relates

  65. How It Relates Caring is Sharing And Listening And Understanding

  66. None
  67. How Much Do You Care?

  68. Do You Care Enough… • To Write A Blog Post?

    • To File An Issue? • To Send An Email? • To Record A Screencast? • To Submit A Pull Request?
  69. – Yoda “Don’t give in to hate. It leads to

    the Dark Side.”
  70. Example Internal Documentation

  71. Documentation Matters • Wikis • Code Comments • Styleguides •

    Pattern Libraries • README.md
  72. Exemplifying Caring

  73. Mentoring Matters • Remember Starting Out? • Did You Have

    A Mentor? • Did You Want A Mentor? • Do You Want To Learn?
  74. What Empathy Is Not

  75. What Empathy Is Not • Pat on the Back •

    “Cheer Up.” • Empty Conversations • Sympathy
  76. https://www.flickr.com/photos/rosenfeldmedia/ 15491807403/in/set-72157649603145899

  77. Contributing

  78. Contributing • Just Listen For A Day • Apply The

    Examples • Start Off Small • Remain Open to Sharing
  79. “It still sounds too hard.”

  80. None
  81. Resources

  82. Resources hipsterbrown.com/empathy

  83. Thank You