Empathy and resilience: How to build compassionate leaders

Book now

Wednesday 16th November 2022, 6pm
The Chapel, King Alfred Quarter, University of Winchester, SO22 4NR

Revd Peterson Feital (affectionately known as 'The Rev') is an award-winning theologian whose work has always been rooted in helping others to find their path in life using a compassion-led approach.

Covid, the mental health crisis, and now also cost of living pressures are impacting our usual patterns of living and the way we interact with each other – it is an unusual time and an unsettling journey. As different elements evolve we are journeying toward an uncertain future.

Peterson will share insights from the Danish philosopher Kierkegaard, who captures the lifelong conundrum that, "we have to live life forwards but only understand it backwards.” He will show how our journeys can help us to become more resilient and teach us empathy, and how the work of the theologian Paul Tillich has shaped his own ability to continue to persist in resilience without romanticising the real need to set boundaries and overcome anxiety to overachieve, and just 'be'. Peterson believes that empathy and resilience reside in the house of compassion - compassion for yourself and for others, and that is what compassionate leadership really is.

"Growing up on the outskirts of Brazil and hating football, yet loving the arts, philosophy, Jesus & Elvis Presley, my life made no sense from the very beginning. Adding to the confusion was the backdrop of domestic violence I had borne witness to ever since I could remember. As a direct descendent of slaves, I was aware of my privilege of having a stellar education but I quickly realised that education still could not protect me from prejudice. At Church I was a misfit, in Brazilian culture I was misfit and at home... I didn't belong.

"I look back now and can see that what I desperately needed was a place to be listened to and a safe space to talk. As a young person with skills of leadership and a brilliant future ahead, I was left on my own to figure things out. As a result, I am on a mission now to educate and train people to understand the power that lies in empathy and resilience and what it means to build compassionate leaders."

Back to events