Gabberish #21: The Empathy Issue

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Gabberish #21: The Empathy Issue

Gabberish is marking its coming of age today with its 21st edition, guest edited by Andy Wright, creator of Never Not Creative, co-chair of the Mentally-Healthy Change Group and MD of Streamtime project management software.


The theme of this issue is Empathy. In mentally-healthy research this year, 1,600 people shared what they wanted in order to improve their mental wellbeing. It wasn’t a wellbeing program, a motivational poster, or yoga Thursdays.

It was: more empathetic leaders, educated in mental health and wellbeing. Leaders who could walk the walk, not just talk the talk when it came to listening to the hopes and fears of their teams and genuinely responding with empathy and compassion.

This issue of Gabberish places empathy front and centre. From walking in the shoes of others, to understanding how empathy in our work can make it more impactful and meaningful. It also shines a light on the lack of empathy we can show towards each other—in the hope it helps us pause and reflect before flying off the handle on social media or industry news sites in future.

Says Wright: “This issue was such a pleasure to work on and to be able to place the topic of empathy front and centre is perfect timing. Firstly, it can make such a difference to the work… but secondly, and more importantly, as our contributors have shared, it can be the difference in bouncing into work on a daily basis, or dreading waking up.”

This issue features an interview with Tim Jones from McCann Health on the seemingly insurmountable task of bringing a parent’s son back to life—in a message for US Voters from mass shooting victim, Joaquin Oliver. Plus, Amber Bonney shares a blow-by-blow account of what it’s like to be in the firing line of industry criticism.

There’s also empathy lessons from TLC, a top 10 Gif-ography of Shit CD’s Say, finding the Grim Reaper’s soft spot and heaps more.

Adds Wright: “I’ll be the first to say, empathy wouldn’t have been my strong point in the past. We don’t invest in this stuff as businesses or as an industry, and the effects are there for all to see. Perhaps I’m better now, and perhaps this issue can act as a catalyst for others to take a closer look.”

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