MasterClass introduced a few new classes that are co-instructed by a handful of masters. The Power of Empathy is one of those classes. As the title suggests, this MasterClass focuses on how to become a more empathetic person. I found the concepts covered to be useful and applicable. However, my thought is the people who need to hear these messages the most are never going to be the ones to watch them. But it does give us all actionable steps we can use to learn to be empathetic people to those from all points of view.
Who Does the Power of Empathy MasterClass Feature?
The Power of Empathy features 7 instructors. These instructors include:
- Pharrell Williams – 13x Grammy Award-winning producer and artist
- Robin Arzon – VP of Fitness Programming and Head Instructor at Peloton
- Roxane Gay – New York Times bestselling author
- Walter Mosley – Bestselling author
- Robert Reffkin – Entrepreneur and founder/CEO of Compass real estate brokerage
- Gloria Steinem – Activist and journalist
- Cornel West – Philosophy and Christian practice professor
What the Power of Empathy MasterClass Covers
The Power of Empathy gives you exercises within each lesson for ways you can actively practice empathy. It also gives you a wide variety of people from different industries and how they have learned and used empathy.
This course is 1 hour and 39 minutes across 10 lessons. This is a relatively quick course which makes sense as empathy, in my opinion, doesn’t need an entire 20+ lesson course to explain.
The lessons included in this course’s curriculum are:
- Meet Your Instructors
- Waking Up to Empathy
- The Evolution of Empathy
- Reaching Intellectual Diversity
- Changing Your Vantage Point
- Empathy as a Democratizing Force
- The Love Ethic
- Working With Others
- Extinguishing Limitations & Empowering Others
- Do Something
The course prices on MasterClass are only available for purchase all the courses at once within a membership. If you plan to watch a majority of the classes available then it makes the individual class price less than $1 each which I find to be reasonable.
The prices for memberships are currently as follows:
- Individual – $15/mo or $180
- Duo – $20/mo or $240
- Family – $23/mo or $276
This class comes with a 32-page guidebook.
What We Liked
I like how Roxanne Gay encourages people to read diversely in the sense of different points of view beyond just demographics. I think this is incredible and maybe the best advice for helping people find empathy if they don’t have it.
Learning about talking circles in various situations was also interesting and a good process for sharing and digesting different points of view. There were lots of exercises included in each session that were actually actionable steps the average person could reasonably take.
What We Didn’t Like
I wish they read off the exercises audibly instead of just showing text on a screen. A lot of times I listen to these in the background and some may be visually impaired. By not reading the exercises, it leaves off the important actionable steps the class is trying to suggest people practice to improve their empathy. In fact, I was watching on desktop and had the screen covered with a document and nearly completely missed there were exercises included at the end of the lessons.
How to Get the Most Out of This Class
Watching this class with an open mind is the best way to get the most out of this class. You can’t just take a MasterClass and become empathetic but you can take advice on ways you can change your mindset and make small changes in habit to better understand different people.
Who Is This MasterClass Best For?
This class is for anyone. Everyone can benefit from becoming more empathetic. If you have a closed mind to understanding different points of view this MasterClass is especially useful for you. As a personal note of advice, being a hateful person who can only see from your own perspective can lead you to be a bitter, unhappy person. If you’re in search of a reason that will benefit you and only you, it will make you a happier person to learn how to be empathetic to others and stop bottling resentment and hatred.
Who Is This MasterClass Not For?
There’s nobody this class isn’t for. It’s not a hard class to take nor does it take your absolute full attention. Pop it on in the background while you clean or take care of a repetitive task.
Similar MasterClasses You Might Like
Lucky for you, MasterClass’s vast catalog of courses means you have enough content to get you through a year of membership without running out of content.
If you like the Power of Empathy MasterClass, you’ll likely enjoy the following:
- Malala Yousafzai – Creating Change
- Dr. Jane Goodall – Conservation
- Hillary Rodham Clinton – The Power of Resilience
- Bill Clinton – Inclusive Leadership
Final Takeaway – 7/10
As is the problem with any class that is a collection of co-instructors, there will be hits and misses. I also find it difficult to comprehend the idea of being empathetic. Can we actually learn empathy via a course?
I feel the best takeaway was introduced by Roxanne Gay in the fourth lesson: we should expose ourselves, namely reading, from many points of view. We aren’t going to learn to be more empathetic and get past prejudices by just watching a class telling us we should. We can only learn that through getting out there and exposing ourselves to as many different situations as possible.
This probably could have been an article, which is the reason I knocked off some stars. But overall, I do think there is some benefit from listening to various people talk about the topic of empathy.