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Jul 26, 2022

All relationships take work, whether in our professional or personal lives. For over two decades of research and experience, Dr. Kristen Donnelly shares that empathy is key to cultivating connection and understanding the relationships in our homes and workplaces.

For years, we’ve been trying to embrace diversity as a goal in our organizations, but we’re still far from achieving that goal. If we understand that there’s beauty and power in inclusivity, we’ll take the necessary and intentional steps to get to know each other as diverse humans trying to shape a better world.

Join me in this insightful episode: The Alchemy of Empathy with Dr. Kristen Donnelly

Key points covered in this episode:

✔️ We've been sold the lie that "diversity" only means people coming from all colors and races. Donnelly teaches that embracing diversity in our workplaces and homes means accepting all facets of our humanity and understanding people beneath stereotypes.

✔️ Empathy in businesses. Research shows that the more diverse organizations are, the more financially successful, innovative, stable, and sustainable they become. But why aren't more companies successfully doing it? Donnelly shares that the answer is that many leaders have a hard time giving up power. 

✔️ Empathy is the key to inclusivity, which is what we really want. Inclusivity is the term and idea that everybody gets to show up to any conversation, any relationship, any job on their emotional terms and they're never forced only to bring one perspective. They show up on their terms about who they are as a whole human. It will take hard work to get us there. But the first step is having the curiosity to ask questions, getting to know each other, and having the empathy to understand beneath the tolerant stereotypes.

✔️ Empathy in romantic relationships. The people we love most are often the ones to whom we extend the least amount of grace. So how do we apply empathy in our relationships? How do we cultivate more curiosity and spaciousness within our intimate relationships, which is where we tend to get the tightest?

✔️ When two persons come together, their Union creates a third body. This Union lives and breathes according to the love and attention that both people put into it. How do you take care of your Union?

✔️ Overcoming compassion fatigue. Donnelly reveals that the more you practice empathy, the more calming it becomes. Consistently choosing curiosity and understanding can decrease your anxiety. You’ll learn that you have no control over anything but yourself and are freed to focus on things you can do that can make a difference. 

Kristen Donnelly (MSW, M.Div, PhD) is a four-time TEDx speaker, international empathy educator, and researcher with two decades of experience in helping people understand the beauty in difference, and the power of inclusivity. She is one of The Good Doctors of Abbey Research, COO of their parent company, and an unapologetic nerd for stories of change. Kristen lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband, where they are surrounded by piles of books and several video game consoles.  









★★★ About Marie-Elizabeth Mali ★★★

Marie-Elizabeth is the founder of Relationship Alchemy, where she helps women awaken through their relationships.


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As a Relationship Transformation Expert, two-time TEDx Speaker, and host of the Relationship Alchemy podcast, Marie-Elizabeth Mali shows women how to cultivate deeper love and connection in their intimate relationships. Drawing on her Master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine and over 20 years of working with clients, she teaches women how to show up as authentic leaders in their relationships and work instead of twisting themselves to fit in. Marie-Elizabeth’s work has been featured in Thrive Global, SWAAY, and Forbes. She is also a member of the Forbes Business Council, a published author with an MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College, and an underwater photographer who has a thing for sharks. Learn more at