Empathy should be applied in ‘The Great Resignation’

In our earlier article, we’ve talked about the serious and unique situation happening around the world that so many people have left their jobs during Covid-19, which we call ‘The Great Resignation’. So what should we do in this torrent of times as an individual?

We Need Empathy:

Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference, that is, the capacity to place oneself in another’s position. And it is especially important in critical situations because we need to understand each other in their position and think for them so that we can come to a point on which we both shall agree.

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As an employer:

In Covid-19, business is hard to operate and survive, let alone lose some staff on the way. With the influence of the great resignation, the employer should grasp the chance to talk through and understand its own staff, for example, having a conversation about the changes in their life, how do they think of their current job, what do they want to achieve and etc, in this way to bring a better understanding. If some staff wants to quit, then the employer may also apply empathy and understand the reasons behind it and work it out together whether it’s about the salary or work schedule or something else, so that both sides can make certain changes and finally work towards the same goals.

As an employee:

Covid-19 has changed the lives of people from all sides, we no longer work in the office, and remote work is becoming the norm. With the impact of the great resignation, you may also want to quit and find a better or high-paid job, then why not consider it as an opportunity to negotiate with your employer with empathy skills, and they may fulfill your wishes without you quitting your job. If you already resigned and still looking for a better bet, then you may think of how to make a difference in your life, for your family, your community also society.

We are all the sands of the torrent of the time, and we all have different perspectives when it comes to such a pandemic, so empathy is applied to understand each other to make better choices and make a difference in each other’s lives.


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Where should you look for Social Innovation Master programs?

The adoption of social innovation has been rapidly spurred in scholarly research. With interest and demand growing, here are a few of the best social innovations or related master’s programs to advance your degree and your career path along with it.

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The University of Oxford: The University of Oxford is the oldest educational institution in the world, and its MBA program at the Saïd Business School offers social entrepreneurship courses that cover international social entrepreneurship, strategy & innovation, and design and development. The Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the Saïd Business School also offers five fully-funded MBA scholarships to individuals invested in social innovation.

University of Pennsylvania: The Wharton School offers an MBA/MSW in the Center for Social Impact Strategy, focused on providing students with the resources they need to bring their innovative ideas for social good to fruition. They educate, inform, and inspire the leaders who are meeting the world’s complex challenges, advancing business practice, and driving economic growth at a global scale.

Stanford University: At the Stanford Graduate School of Business, there’s Center for Social Innovation and Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, to educate the future leaders of social and environmental change. It allows students to approach their area of interest in the social sector with leadership through a social enterprise/business approach.

Harvard University: The Social Enterprise Program at the Harvard Business School offers courses such as Leading Social Enterprise and a Field Course: Social Innovation Lab, which aims to educate, support, and inspire leaders across all sectors to tackle society’s toughest challenges and make a difference in the world.

Yale University: At the Yale School of Management, the Program on Social Enterprise (PSE) provides students with an understanding of how to use their business skills and market knowledge to create social solutions, to harness business skills and markets to achieve social objectives.

London School of Economics and Political Science: Their Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship program aims to develop critical academic views and how to design, launch and scale-up successful entrepreneurial ventures with social goals.

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Except for those world-top social innovation programs, there are still several initiatives that offer Social Innovation Master programs.

Design for Social Innovation: MFA Design for Social Innovation at the School of Visual Arts in New York is the first MFA program at the intersection of design, social innovation and enterprise. Their two-year program focuses on the application of the design methodologies to solutions for complex human problems, such as poverty, climate change, planetary health, food insecurity, injustice, inequity and human health.

University of San Diego: Their Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies offers MA in social innovation, which gives them skills to develop sustainable, scalable solutions to tackle humanity’s urgent challenges, whether that leads to growing their own social impact startup or leading innovative programs in an established organization.

EDHEC Business School: It is the top 20 business school, and the MSc in Creative Business & Social Innovation will teach students to develop a better understanding of complexity and globalization, also the competency to make a positive impact in the world.

Copenhagen Business School: They offer MSc in Business Administration and Bioentrepreneurship and Innovation in Health Care, besides, they have the Social Entrepreneurship (S-ENT) Research Cluster, which brings together 15 scholars from different departments, to facilitate interdisciplinary related research across the whole of CBS, and enhance the impact of S-ENT research at CBS. 

Roskilde University (RUC): They offer a 2-year Master of innovation, entrepreneurship, intended to produce graduates who can lead social innovation and entrepreneurship processes in socio-economic enterprises, civil society organizations and other organizations that aim to address social (and green) societal challenges at local, national and international levels.

Hope you have found a program that fits you better and please contact us if you know of any that we haven’t listed here. Thanks and good luck!


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You can show your multi-talents on Polywork, a rising competitor of Linkedin

As for recruitment networking websites, Linkedin is always on the top, with over 774 million registered members from over 200 countries and territories. So why Polywork?

Polywork is a UK-born company, was founded by Lystable/Kalo founder, Peter Johnson in 2021, and has announced a $3.5 million seed round, led by Caffeinated Capital’s Ray Tonsing (who was the first investor in Clubhouse), the founder of YouTube (Steve Chen), Twitch (Kevin Lin), PayPal (Max Levchin), and etc.

Image source: sifted

It is noticeable that Polywork was founded in and by the pandemic. Because due to the pandemic, people have more time and ability to collaborate and create things that are not within one sector. With a trend of working from home, most people even quit their job and start to work for several companies which allow them to have more flexible time and control. Polywork, however, seems to acknowledge this type of change and lets users assign themselves different badges to represent their different expertise and interests, which is easier for collaborations also recruitment.

Different badges from Polywork

Currently, there are only two ways to sign up for Polywork, one is to be on the waiting list, and there are roughly 25 thousand people on the waiting list, so it may take longer before you can access the platform. The second option is to access through a VIP code (Comment below or send us a message then we will reveal a VIP code for you to join Polywork).

Polywork is mainly targeted to Gen Z and millennials, also for those freelancers and career changers, with a visually attractive display. It lets users create a free personal webpage, share what they are up to, both personally and professionally, and send collaboration requests to others, which the founder believes could improve the experience of Linkedin. Many users say that it has shifted people’s identity from simply job holders & seekers to talent.


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Empathy? Why is it matter to you?

Credit to Ted talk Youtube channle

If you are a fan of design thinking, AKA, human-centered design, then you should probably have heard of empathy, which is the first step in design thinking, to align with users and gain insights from their values, attitudes, behaviors, etc. If you have a social work background, then I bet you have also heard of empathy, which is the basic attitude and belief we should have when providing services to our beneficiaries. And if you come from a psychology background, then empathy is not strange to you as well since there’s person-centered therapy, which focuses on being empathetic and leads the clients to talk, in an attempt to fully understand their thoughts and feelings. Empathy is everywhere and can indeed lead us somewhere.

Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference, that is, the capacity to place oneself in another’s position according to Wikipedia. Empathy is initially an emotional stage, and it includes cognitive empathy, emotional (or affective) empathy, and somatic empathy. It is a soft skill and hard to define and measure, that’s why we should acquire it since the artificial intelligence may take over most of our jobs in the future, but it can hardly tap into our emotional level, let alone our empathy skill.

It is a clear requirement to be empathetic if you work in the non-profit sector or social business, where the disadvantaged group is served with dignity and love, especially when your identity is a social worker and psychologist. What about other sectors? For a long time, the market has been adopting the idea of empathy and applying it to the most well-known field, such as the design thinking methodology, UX design, user research and etc, where innovative ideas come from not only to generate innovative products and services but also to drive sales and build long-term relationships with users.

Furthermore, the international organization Ashoke developed a course on empathy, to raise awareness and to educate the public on empathy, because they think that empathy is the fundamental characteristic of achieving better personal development and is also the root of building an exclusive society. There is a Canadian organization, Roots of empathy, is providing empathy training to kindergarten kids, aiming to empower them with empathy skills and use it to change the world when they grow up. They have reached over one million children globally and have researched to prove the impact, their focus is on reducing aggression, increasing sharing, caring and inclusion, and promoting resilience, well-being, and positive mental health.

So empathy is not only about the individual’s well-being and benefits, but also about how to change and build the world.

Being empathetic acquires you to believe that every human being is valued and respected, and there are some tips for you to get a taste of being empathetic if you are a novice, and you can also refresh yourself and reflect upon what you are familiar with. (reference to Celestine Chua and Elliot D. Cohen Ph.D)

  1. Put yourself in the person’s shoes. You will never know what things a person is undergoing, their happiness, sorrow or regret, etc, so in order to put yourself in their context, you need to imagine you are going through the same problem right now and try to understand things from their perspective. It is quite hard to imagine at first, and practice or meditation can help.
  2. Show care and concern. This is the capacity to be present, as I have mentioned in my earlier post. Show them your care and concern is not only state your present status but also display the connection and a genuine attitude.
  3. Acknowledge or reflect on person’s feelings. Acknowledgment means recognizing the importance of the thing that they are sharing, and showing that you are listening and that you do care about the sharing. Reflect means clarify what another is saying to foster understanding. It is crucial to respond to emotions because it determines whether to continue the bonding or to shut off.
  4. Do not judge. Again, you can’t judge a person without looking at the whole picture. First, judgment can impede sharing and openness. Second, no one has the right and reasons to judge someone based on their talk, opinion, or other aspects.
  5. Connect with the target. ‘Suspending your own value judgments, while putting yourself in the subjective shoes of the target, is essential to empathizing. ‘ When you listen to them, you also need to respond and ask questions to develop your narratives in order to understand them better.
  6. Use self-disclosure as appropriate. A certain level of self-disclosure can be a useful and powerful way of connecting with shared values when it is relevant and not excessive. ‘It can promote resonance between you and the target through expression of shared experiential encounters that engender shared, interpretations, interests, and values.’

Empathy is a virtue or excellence of being human, Elliot D. Cohen, Ph.D said. It can not only apply to your daily life, with your friends, family members, colleagues, but also with your clients, to foster good relationships and learn from them and find opportunities to develop and achieve business objectives. Practice empathy, and harness a better self and a better world.

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Apply science into your daily life – mind maps

Most of us have heard of mind maps, but fewer of us could really use it or even learn about it. If it is you, then it’s not too late to pick it up. Is it often happen to you that you could easily recognize someone’s face but could not get their name? I bet that most of you would say yes, and this is why mind-maps is so powerful and charming that we should learn about it and use it to learn even better.

Credit to TEDx Talks

”The speaker, Hazel Wagner has spent her life learning how to learn. Hazel shares her work on mind mapping and what it can do for understanding, memorization, and retention. And she specializes in a concept called mind mapping, teaching others how to use it to augment and enhance their memory, studies, planning,”

Our brain can store so much information and yet it is not a computer, where you can type and find the thing you want. So you need to use the mind map, which is a highly effective way of getting information in and out of your brain, and functions as a computer to organize that information and wait for it to be used. ”The mind map has a natural organizational structure that radiates from the center and use lines, symbols, words, color and images according to simple, brain-friendly concepts.” according to

As we can see from above that the mind map consists of different colors and icons, which reinforces our brain capacity. Our brain has a better perception in terms of images, and it can be stored for a longer time compared with words. ”In 1970 Scientific American magazine published Ralph Haber’s research showing that individuals have a recognition accuracy of images between 85 and 95 percent. There is a well-known quote, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’.” Normally we can present our ideas on one page using the mind map, so it gives us a clear picture of the whole, which is why we tend to remember them as images and last for a long time.

The mind map has its own main idea, subject, or focus which is crystallized in a central position, and it can be either broad or narrow, which is totally dependent on the thing you want to tackle or learn. Then there’s “branches,” which are the main themes that radiate from the center and can be the subtitles of your main topics. The branches are then divided into different key images or keywords for their associated topics and can be spread out further if needed. They all spread from the center and connected with each other following a logical, thought-out approach. You may find that the words or images you put on some of the nodal structures are not relevant to your main topic at all, then please remember this is a way to help you to think deeper and in the way to even broaden your thinking, so there’s no need to feel panic and anxiety. Somehow, it can even get you to a point where you have the ”aha” moment when you look back.

Mind mapping can be used whenever there is a need for brainstorming, analysis or strategic overview. You can even use it for personal purposes, such as when you plan to buy something, use the mind map to list everything on the paper, and dig into subtle items related to the main topic. The mind map is so powerful and it can be used in any setting. Use the way the brain prefers to help you learn better and think more logically.

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5 exercises to make you more creative from scratch

Everyone could be creative and we should believe in ourselves that we can create and design. Tom Kelly and David Kelley believed in their book: Creative Confidence and so do I, but no one could be creative within a day automatically, it needs training and iteration. Thanks to those great thinkers that we could access to the masterpiece of their work easily, they revealed how they trained their brains to be creative and shared with the public unconditionally. Now let me walk you through one by one method guided by Chihlee University of technology, I may not able to list them all, so please explore more if you are so eager to find out more methods.

Photo linking: Photo is the memory, some are sweet, happy, while some are sad, it has so many vivid memories and emotions withhold. So pick up one photo, and wonder is the photo has any similarity or difference with your current lifestyle and why? How will you feel if the person or thing in the photo is replaced with the person or thing you are interacting with now? When was the last time you think of the person or thing in the photo? and how was your relationship with them at that time? What could happen if the scene in the photo changed to the current circumstance and what is the story? This method triggers your memory and the ability to connect it with your current life, then creative stories may come out afterword.

Credit to Chihlee University of technology

Paris taxi: Guy de Maupassant, the great short novel writer, once asked his teacher how to access to abundant writing materials from daily life, and his teacher said: ” go to the street and take a taxi, what you need to do is to find every and each difference between this taxi and other taxies in the whole Paris” What his teacher asked him to do is to find differences from a thing that looks similar, that is a typical observation training. In your daily life, you may observe the differences between each couple you encounter on the street, from their walking, hugging, talking and eyes contact, you may look into how a person is eating his or her food in the restaurant, you may find the difference between each counter in the shopping market and etc. When you have accumulated enough materials then qualitative change and creativity come along.

Credit to Chihlee University of technology

Use your opposite hand to brush your teeth: So many psychologists said the habit is the biggest obstacle when it comes to creativity and William James once said that genius has nothing special but has the ability to understand things from a non-habitual way. The habit is a cage for creativity so break the cage and embrace the sky. Let’s assume that you use your right hand to brush your teeth all the time, then now try to use your left hand or try to use your left leg if your right leg is always stepping forward first. Free from the habits by finding them first. For example, you always use a certain sequence to finish your work, then try to mix up your sequences and see what could happen. If you always try to use a non-habitual way to think and do things, then you will find creative solutions finally.

Credit to Chihlee University of technology

Color bath: This is a method to immerse yourself in the color, it could be simply collecting information without a certain aim, or it could be done when you have a specific target. First, decide your lucky color for today and it could be any color, then find each and everything that is related to the color you have chosen, it could help you to discover so many things in your daily life that you have ignored before. It is not only restricted in color, but you could also use shape, voice, location and etc. It could also extend to the ’emotion bath’, where you use emotion as your guide star to collect every detail. Creativity happens when you mix the right amount of your existing information in your brain, which is based on the information you have collected.

Credit to Chihlee University of technology

Seven-colored parrot: Seven-colored parrot is a way of appreciating great plays, so this method is about acting and play. So why do you need to act? actually this is about empathy. I have shared with you the techniques of empathy in the human-centered-design, where you have to put your own foot in other’s shoes to feel what they feel. When you act like them, be like them, then the relative emotions or feelings would be generated. For example, what is a good way of approaching a 10-year-old kid when you try to sell? Now try to kneel down and shorten your hands and legs like a 10-year-old kid, then you could feel the difference with your vision, and you cannot grasp and reach objects easily. This is a way for you to experience the feeling of being a kid, to fully understand their situation, then create and design from their perspective.

Credit to Chihlee University of technology

Creativity needs a good amount of time of training and the ‘right’ training methods, when you get used of those thinking approaches, then creativity would favor you finally. I could be creative, he could be creative, she could be creative and you could also be creative. This article was edited by the original author without their consent, and should not be reproduced.


How to cope with change?-Adaptive leadership

Adaptive leadership is a newly developed leadership framework that allows individuals and organizations to see bigger pictures and gain a clear mindset in terms of changing environment and effectively respond to recurring problems and uncertainty. Research by Ron Heifetz and Marty Linsky at Harvard University formed the basis for Adaptive Leadership. More specifically, it is more about how to mobilize people to initiate change and make it thrive.

When there’s a gap between reality and aspiration, then it is time to think about starting changes as adaptive leaders. The gaps are usually the problems, the problem that impedes the way of achieving the desired result, the problem that involves the whole system that is too complex to solve. However, there are two clear kinds of problem: technical problems (that is easy for leaders to recognize and can be solved with a clear solution) and adaptive problems (that is recurring and difficult to define and it takes much more efforts to solve it), furthermore, most problems come mixed, with the technical and adaptive elements intertwined. An adaptive leader should acquire the ability to distinguish the problems and take action accordingly.

Credit to <The Practice of Adaptive Leadership: Tools and Tactics for Changing Your Organization and the World>

Being an adaptive leader in organizations required you must have strong willpower, because being adaptive means you challenging the status quo and frightening people who refused to change and even shattering other’s interest. The authority hired you and trust you to work here not to challenge them but to follow them, so they may even want to get rid of you when you rise a consciousness towards change. Regardless of fears, you need to help people tolerate the discomfort they are experiencing in terms of change, and find the balance between change and productive energy. Your goal should keep the temperature within what we call the productive zone of disequilibrium (PZD): enough heat generated by your intervention to gain attention, engagement, and forward motion, but not so much that the organization (or your part of it) explodes according to Ronald A. Heifetz and Donald L. Laurie.

Credit to <The Practice of Adaptive Leadership: Tools and Tactics for Changing Your Organization and the World>

There are three key activities in the process of adaptive leadership summarized by Ronald Heifetz, Alexander Grashow, and Marty Linsky: (1) observing events and patterns around you, and the goal is to make observing as objective as possible; (2) interpreting and guessing what you are observing (developing multiple hypotheses about what is really going on); and (3) designing interventions based on the observations and interpretations to address the adaptive challenge you have identified. Those activities help you to gain insights around your organization and stakeholders, enable you to analyze and mobilize them for the initiative you raised.

There are no absolute answers to how to deal with changing environments, so adaptive leaders need to tracing those changes and design different interventions. No one can accomplish alone, let alone the whole organization’s prosperity. Leaders need to mobilize different stakeholders and find common values in between. F. Scott Fitzgerald once said that “the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” Find a shared purpose and value is difficult, especially with different stakeholders when some party has to narrow their interest and make sacrifices when moving forward. Before the conversation engagement, you also need to find out their readiness and ripeness to develop different strategies, to analyze whether your stakeholders know the importance of issues and furthermore, whether they are willing to take action and their capacity.

Credit to +Acumen

Adaptivity is the key to success even in the future, Ronald Heifetz, Alexander Grashow, and Marty Linsky have explained it in their book: The Practice of Adaptive Leadership: Tools and Tactics for Changing Your Organization and the World. Please find more thorough information about adaptive leadership.

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You are an amazing social entrepreneur, don’t let public speaking stop you

Who needs public speaking skills? You may say a great person who needs to convey the message to the public, or a great leader who has to inspire the followers to make a difference. As I mentioned here: How to deliver an astonishing presentation, where pointed out that everyone has to ‘deliver a presentation’ somehow to your friends, family, coworkers and even strangers, hence, surprisingly, everyone need public speaking skills.

If you ask me who would be the one to deliver the public speaking, then I would say anyone, who has a strong message to convey and it is for the public good, and it may include entertainment as well. When you look at “public speaking”, you may imagine a person standing in front of hundreds of people and talk, while what your imagination may not represent the whole story as some celebrities claimed that one-minute performance needs ten years of preparation. However, the ordinary only witness one-minute performance.

Photo by The_MrDan on

Public speaking follows certain sequences. When we received a topic which is not familiar, then we need to do certain researches about the topic and find the main theme which the talk would cover. Furthermore, knowing the expectations of your topic from your audience, what the audience would like to know from this talk, and what information they would like to acquire; Once you know the materials of the theme from the research, then you need to structure them, to make it in order and give your audience a taste of ‘Aha moment’; Decide the purpose or agenda of your topic, is it a pursue, exhortation, enlightenment or something else. Till now the paperwork is done, so you need to prepare the tools or instruments you need, a projector, survey, pens, paper, etc, and most importantly the place where you will perform, and it usually depends on how many audiences you expected, related to your topic theme or the interactive activities you will do with your audience; Last but not least, specify the time you need for each section in order to control the period of time, to keep the desire of the audience and also engage into your topic.

Photo by RODNAE Productions on

Great public speakers engage with the audience, but they still focus on the topic itself, not the audience, otherwise, the audience leads the speaking, not the speaker, and it is a great tip for us when it comes to interacting with the audience. Besides, body language can tell. When we get nervous on the stage, we will act somehow unconsciously which is not appropriate on the stage, and this may convey a message to your audience that you are nervous and you are not ready yet. The most obvious one is you stand still with a tight fist, and you may cross your arms to show your unconfidence, etc. Those gestures have a negative message, and the audience knows but usually not the performers. So the solution is to practice the powerful postures before the performance, this can increase your confidence level. And you could imagine that you are the expert who is the only one knows today’s topic and everyone listens to you carefully. This may sounds self-deception, but psychology does affect our mind and body.

Credit to Ted

Practice makes it perfect, and it applies to everyone. Do several rehearsals to make it predictable, and you may record it to find the places where you could do better. The alternative way is to find some friends or ‘experts’ to watch your rehearsal and receive feedback to improve yourself afterward. When we prepare the ‘speaking’ part, the most obvious is the tone, the voice, and the facial expression, all of those elements complete speaking. Regarding this, please read my other post: How to deliver an astonishing presentation. Learning is never an end, a great platform for speakers is TED talk, learning from them and try to imitate them, then create your own speaking style. It is never an easy task, but it’s worth doing.

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Presentation is not only about the content but also the ‘how’

What was the last time you deliver a presentation? was it difficult to handle? and what was the feedback? The presentation shows others your work and yourself, the personality. Usually, the agenda of speakers are either to gain attention or win potential support. No matter which situation it is, when you are at the workplace, school or even in your friend circle, there must be a time for you to do the presentation formally or informally. So this is a killing skill, you could also check my other post here: storytelling makes difference.

Now please stop a while and think what are the most situations when you have to do a presentation? As far as I know, the situation could be presenting your work and telling others what’s the progress, pitching your ideas to gain any kind of help, sharing the knowledge you come up with, displaying your homework and gaining suggestions from the senior, or even just simply introducing yourself. You can see there are tons of different presentations scenarios, the first thing we need to do is to understand and predict what’s the situation of your next presentation because the situation decides the style, which you need to decide at the very beginning.

Photo by SHVETS production on

Speaking of the style, I mean the whole atmosphere, it can be casual, funny, relaxed, serious or even sad as long as you settled your purpose then the style is easy to be captured. Second, you need to do some research about your audience, who are they? what do they know about the subject you are trying to bring? what do they want to know from you? and lastly what they can benefit from your presentation? Your audience is the presentation all about and they are the one who decides whether your presentation is worth or not, so pay attention to your audience and know about them in order to present in the way that they favor.

What else? at this stage, it is important to know the purpose of your presentation. You need to figure out what do you want to do with the presentation or what outcomes do you want it to come from? Nevertheless, it is also about your audience, what actions do you want your audience to take after the presentation? what do you want them to think, feel or understand? And lastly, what is the benefit your listeners will gain from taking ‘actions’ of your purpose. This is important in the philanthropic sector to ask for help, otherwise, people only know the social problems and they are pleased to know there are some organizations trying to solve those social problems in your presentation in the end. It will be different if you add a ‘take an action’ at the end, then people are aroused at that moment to take any actions to help, which is the most agenda of philanthropic organizations.

After all have been done, you are only at the paper phase. How about during the presentation, what can we do to improve the interaction and presence. A good way to attract people’s eyes is using visual aids, for example, the slides to connect people emotionally by showing people the story, the props to support your story. Visual aids are a trick at the first moment, furthermore, your story or content determines how deeply people can connect with your presentation. However, visual aid is good to reinforce your content and grasp people’s attention.

Photo by Rica on

Lastly, the final step to go. I agreed with what Acumen pointed out that ‘vertical and horizontal moment is the way to ensure you stay present and not rush’. Vertical moment means you have to relax from your cells to muscles, to simply ‘be yourself. While horizontal moment means a way to connect your audience by making eye contact or adjusting yourself along with the audience, but you should also connect to your own, to breathe and relax. Other things you could also do to adjust are taking a break, answering questions, looking at the slides or notes and simply sipping water.

If you ask me what is the most important thing about the presentation, I would say its the passion. Imagine if the speaker is idle and doesn’t know what he/she is talking about, would you still be willing to spend time listening to them? I hardly think so, but when you imagine the speaker is passionate and set fire in you, the audience would also be affected and take action afterward. Passion is the catalyst to the fire, rather than to simply “explain” your data or stories, your passionate content could be:

  • Welcome your audience to the presentation, and then
  • Warn them of the dangers if a specific social problem isn’t resolved, then to
  • Reassure them that you have a solution, and finally to
  • Motivate them to take action with you’-extracted from Acumen

This template can raise the desire of the fellow audiences to be willing to tackle social problems with you, that would be more welcome that you pointed out the destination as well to give them hope, a reason why they need and have to take actions, then they will finally engaged and buy your ideas.

Photo by Henri Mathieu-Saint-Laurent on

Last but not least, body language, it includes words, tone of voice, non-verbal communication. For effective and meaningful communication, the visual, vocal and verbal three parts of the message need to support each other, which means they have to be “congruent”, otherwise, the audience would get confused by different messages. It is important to point out that your gestures, posture, body movement and facial expressions all play a major contribution in getting your message across. So you better record yourself and do a rehearsal before the presentation, then you can easily find the place where you need to improve or pay attention.

Never miss the chance to present yourself or your work, then you will find surprises along the way. If you want to know more, please read my other posts: Storytelling makes difference and Active listening isn’t just listening.

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Need to resolve problems? nonviolent communication can stop the misunderstanding

Communication or language skill is the only way to differentiate humans from animals, hence, words hold superpower, while, words can also hurt seamlessly. Normally, the same word can means differently in different regions or contexts, and we all experienced it somehow. If you interpret some words in the wrong way, then it will lead to an awful result. Nonviolent communication is the answer to those unwanted results during the interaction. Nonviolent Communication (abbreviated NVC, also called Compassionate Communication or Collaborative Communication) is an approach to nonviolent living developed by Marshall Rosenberg beginning in the 1960s. At its heart is a belief all human beings have the capacity for compassion and empathy. We only resort to violence or behavior harmful to others when we do not recognize more effective strategies for meeting their needs, according to Wikipedia.

I get to know NVC when I was in SINA, and it’s part of our training to learn and practice NVC. For me, NVC emphasizes facts instead of feeling, which I believe only works in certain situations. Anyway, it is necessary to know NVC and apply it to appropriate areas. So let me define the fact part of NVC first, NVC believes that when we only saying facts without feeling in between, then it will not arise any response negatively. For example, when the kid fails on his math exam, then there’s the difference between saying ‘I feel disappointed for you failing the exam’ and ‘you failed the math exam’, by the parents. The former one is full of upset feelings while the latter one is just a fact, so when we use fact expression, then there is no way to feel bad.

Based on the upper part, another essence of NVC is no judgment in the sentences. In our daily life, it is so easy to rise any judgments by only the look, accents, dress or others, and most of us will not aware of it until it happens to us. It is often be told in my professional area, while I still fall into judgment sometimes so easily. So I always feel that I am in a paradox, one way I have fallen into the judgment, but another way, my rationality drags me out of the prejudgment. But it will not always happen, I can also get too deep and unable to extricate myself, which is why we need to practice the NVC all the time, to form a habit of thinking and saying in a certain way.

Credit to EcceHomoZen

Communication is not easy, at least for me, and NVC is even harder. NVC is all about facts and empathy as I mentioned above, which is also the key to Human-centered design. Those people are close to us, the family, partners, friends are the ones who get hurt by our words mostly, so stop the violent communication and embrace nonviolent communication.

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