022: Flex Your Empathy Muscle

with Madhavi Parker

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You may have heard the saying, “Before you criticize or judge someone, walk a mile in their shoes.”


This quote is simply the best way to define empathy. But, is empathy a teachable skill, and can we teach it to our children? And the answer is yes. Like any other skill, empathy is teachable, but it involves a lot more than just being good role models and assigning kids a few educational activities. 

Unfortunately, we live in a time when kids and young people are seemingly encouraged by social media and pop culture to be self-absorbed. The good news is that it’s never too early to start teaching them about empathy. 

Empathy is a key ingredient in positive friendships and relationships. It reduces conflict and misunderstandings and leads to helping behavior, kindness, and even greater success in life. We all want our kids to grow up into empathetic adults, and that’s why we invited Madhavi Parker to this week’s episode.

Madhavi is the director of Positive Minds Australia, known for her compassionate understanding and working tirelessly to improve mental health resilience and well-being.


We discuss how we can develop empathy in our kids, how leaders can create empathetic workplaces and the downside to having naïve realism.


  • Getting to know Madhavi Parker (02:29)

  • Why Glenside Hospital was an exceptional institution back then (04:44)

  • How growing up inside Glenside hospital affected Madhavi’s career path (05:55)

  • How to cultivate and incorporate empathy into our everyday lives (09:04)

  • Defining naïve realism (10:59)

  • The three types of empathy (12:48)

  • The relationship between compassion and empathy (20:01)

  • Why support is crucial when cultivating empathy in ourselves and others (16:50)

  • How empathy evolves as we grow older or have kids (20:01)

  • How to develop and practice empathy (22:30)

  • Empathy and leadership (27:41)

  • Top 5 tips for upcoming leaders (30:48)






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Madhavi Nawana Parker, Director of Positive Minds Australia is a published author.


Madhavi has worked with children, teenagers, families and schools for over twenty years.


Following University studies in Psychology and Counselling.


Madhavi is known for her empathic understanding and working tirelessly to improve mental health, resilience and wellbeing. 


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