The Secret to Building Empathy in College Students

…A new neuroscience study may explain why telling stories builds empathy and why, when you tell a good one, people act as if they’re watching it unfold before them…

Here are some simple suggestions on how to capitalize on storytelling as you teach or lead students:

  1. Choose to insert stories in your content. To really engage with you, students need a point for their head and a picture for their heart. 
  2. Clarify the point of your story in your mind. Even if it is only to make them question something, know where you’re going so you don’t wander. 
  3. Include important details in the story. The more specific you are, the more students can step into the shoes of those in the story. Make it real.
  4.  Use colorful adjectives and verbs. Make the story come alive, describing how something felt, smelled, looked or sounded. Help them feel, not just think. 
  5. Involve some conflict. We love movies because good ones always center on a great conflict. Leverage this as the story unfolds.  
by Tim Elmore