No fools, executives know the power of connecting with constituencies through empathy. That lesson became obvious when Bill Clinton told voters how he felt their pain and got elected, despite scandals. Then empathy's dynamics have been explained by researchers who observed the operation of mirror neurons. Yes, we are wired to respond to each other. We do feel each other's pain. That's why we cringe when speakers shame themselves with stale content or cliche wit.
However, the empathy tactic involves risk. The executive bringing home $24 million annually can't really feel the pain of a middle-class couple struggling to hold onto their house. That's because they assume the executive has never been in that pickle. If he or she had, then such must be disclosed. "When I was a child, my parents lost their farm ..."
Another risk is that the audience doesn't want the speaker to share their pain. They find that intrusive. When a state senator in Pennsylvania canned me, he showed he felt my pain by holding my shoulders. How dare he, I thought. I never forgave the guy or his circle.