I didn’t really understand how important dedicated bike lanes were until I tried riding a bike in a part of the city that doesn’t have them.
I didn’t understand how crappy the software was that some of my staff had to use every day until I sat down and spent a few hours trying to use it myself.
It wasn’t that I hadn’t been empathetic about these situations in the past. I always thought bike lanes were a good idea. And I certainly listened to my team when they complained about their software.
But I didn’t really, truly understand deep down in my gut until I actually became the biker and the software user.
Before, I simply had empathy.
After, I had actionable empathy – empathy that would move me to do something, to fix something, or to at least be prepared to shout my support instead of keeping it quietly to myself.