Empathy is not about being soft or nice. It is about being disciplined enough to listen to what really matters to someone by first putting what matters to us aside temporarily. Second, empathy is not about only listening. Since it is about mutual connection, it is also about having the courage to speak up about what is true for us. Third, empathy is not sympathy. Sympathy happens when we turn our focus to ourselves instead of remaining curious about what is happening for the other. If empathy seems too conceptual, think of it as the ability to be curious. Curiosity and judgement cannot exist in the same mental and emotional space within us. When we are intentionally curious, we are exercising our empathy competence. The good news is that everyone already knows how to be curious.