Hey GaryVee, 5 Steps to develop EMPATHY

UPDATE (Dec 7, 2017): Awesome latest GaryVee video and I’m sharing it as he requested, but he “punted” on developing SELF-AWARENESS, just like he did on EMPATHY!

Even Gary Vaynerchuk says, “I don’t know how to teach empathy.”

That’s because empathy isn’t something you learn, it is something you develop!

Empathy is 1 of 2 core foundational soft skills that we help those who have joined our journey toward becoming masters of cross-cultural performance to develop, so in this short article, I will share the five mental gates, pillars, hurdles for developing empathy.

  • There are GATES because it’s a progression or what we call a journey
  • They are called PILLARS because they become the foundation of everything you do once you’ve mastered them
  • There are HURDLES because the hardest challenges are the mental/internal obstacles you must overcome

They are listed sequentially here, but it is a holistic process. The journey towards cross-cultural performance mastery isn’t a linear progression; it’s a multidimensional one in the multiverse of your mind.


Begin your journey by overcoming this HURDLE, the proper framework for understanding your personal development in the context of the way we naturally mature as people. Soft skills can’t be taught or learned, so we separate learning in the context of how habits become natural.

  • Things we LEARN — Our proverbial TOOLBOX is where we store everything we learn, knowledge, skills, and experiences.
  • Things we DEVELOP — These are the mental skills and techniques that enable us to utilize the tools in our TOOLBOX correctly. We say¬†AWARENESS (self-, cultural-, situational-) and EMPATHY are “things we develop.”
  • Things we ADJUST — These are the only levers to influence perceptions and outcomes in the entire world that are 100% within your control. It’s your attitude, mindset, and approach, or what we call AMA Values.


AWARENESS and EMPATHY, knowing what other people value and are passionate about, and knowing how other people perceive you in the proper cultural and situational context, will empower to mystical levels of influence.

GaryV has reached this mystical level of influence, but of the few videos that I’ve watched, he punts on the question how to develop empathy.


Every mental gate that you pass gets you one step closer to becoming a master of cross-cultural performance. You begin this journey by challenging your preexisting perceptions. Assume they are misperceptions until proven otherwise.

  • How do I embrace differences rather than judge them?
  • How do I reconcile the fact that there are no universal values?
  • How do I acknowledge that there are no absolutes?


Your progression continues whether you chart a new course or not, but this journey requires you to pack two essential things.

  1. Imagination
  2. Purpose-driven curiosity

You need to train your mind to imagine “positive” explanations for your negative perceptions, and you need to develop a purpose-driven curiosity always to ask WHY but never to judge WHAT.


You will receive exclusive invitations to EME Meetup events, group coaching sessions, online courses, videos, blog posts, China Business 101 lessons, and more…

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