Leanne Butterworth in red jacket against blue background.

Strengthen your personal and professional relationships with Empathy First.

We are a Brisbane social enterprise helping leaders and future leaders create happier, healthier, more sustainable workplaces and communities - and save lives - through empathy training.

Making Empathy Accessible.

Image by Ben Duchac

The days of profit-at-all-costs is over.  

And I understand, it is the mindset that has traditionally been associated with business success.  

But that time is over.  

The Great Resignation is coming.  

Empathetic leaders and organisations will be the ones who survive.  In a recent poll, 83% of staff said they would consider leaving their job for a more empathetic organisation.  

The time for empathetic leadership is now.


Can you afford the alternative?

Empathetic leadership is more than a nice to have,

it's a business imperative. 

Through inspiring keynotes, in-house consulting, interactive workshops, online training and personal coaching, I help leaders and future leaders develop their empathetic communication skills and the emotional architecture required to build rapport with their teams. 

By providing leaders and future leaders with targeted Empathic Communication Training using my signature WISER framework, organisations can prioritise effective communication and feedback, an open-minded approach to improving organisational culture and genuine, attentive working relationships.

The result? Happy, healthy, sustainable workplaces.

Taking the empathetic approach has never been easier, or more accessible.


Engaging, memorable content

My unique WISER framework for Empathy Training is personally relevant and inspires attendees to reflect on how effectively they made others feel heard, valued and visible.

Learn anywhere

Engage Empathy First at your workplace for a memorable group workshop or take an online course.

Positive results guaranteed

Simple, easy-to-implement practical skills and insights will improve your personal and professional relationships.

The Empathy Gap

Empathic Training must go beyond meaningless checklists and listless “action plans”.


Empathic Communication training is about bridging the gap between how we, as leaders and future leaders, understand and demonstrate empathy and how these everyday interactions are perceived by our colleagues, clients, family and friends.


It is about cultivating and honing the forgotten skills in leadership and managerial toolkits to build a healthier, happier workforce, resulting in a more profitable, sustainable company culture.

The Importance of Empathy in the Workplace

Empathy Wheel 2022 Theory of Change

Many of us think of empathy as simply 'feeling the feelings' or 'walking in their shoes', however these are only two of the three different types of empathy.


The third is Compassionate Empathy which is the ability to share and understand the feelings of another person, and respond appropriately.  

A lack of Compassionate Empathy in the workplace can look like:

  • High staff turnover 

  • Disengaged or burnt-out employees

  • Non-consultative decision making that doesn’t consider how it impacts employees

  • Disjointed or stiff interactions amongst employees

  • Friction or low engagement in meetings and group exercises.  


Empathy must be practised with careful awareness. Listening, connecting, caring, responding, emotional self-awareness, self-reflection, values and judgements are all components covered in Empathetic Communication Training. It helps you to make others feel heard, valued and visible, whilst setting personal boundaries that prioritise your own mental health and wellbeing.

At Empathy First, I teach you WHAT empathy really is, WHY it matters to you personally and professionally and HOW to empathetically communicate  in a healthy and safe way.

Empathy training and coaching with 
Leanne Butterworth

Leanne Butterworth wearing shirt saying You Got this

Hello! I'’m Leanne Butterworth, a Social Enterprise Business lecturer with the Queensland University of Technology and a huge proponent of empathetic leadership being the most effective, sustainable pathway to personal and professional success. 


With a decorated career spanning mental health and social enterprise industries, I am now on a mission to create happy and healthy workforces through interactive, accessible Empathetic Communication Training.  


Research tell us empathetic leadership is the foundation of a successful organisation and by practicing empathy on a daily basis, we can foster healthier relationships and extend the profitability of our businesses.

However, very few of us have been taught what healthy empathy really is and why it matters, let alone how to empathetically communicate in a way that is safe and doesn't burn us out.

Which is where Empathy First comes in: my unique WISER framework for Empathetic Communication teaches you how to harness the positive power of empathy in a way that is personal, practical, memorable and accessible. For me, Empathy Training goes beyond helping workforces work better: in many cases, taking an attuned, empathetic approach to day-to-day interactions can even save lives.

Contact me today and let's talk about how you can put Empathy First.


Empathy First Clients - An Impactful Change

Through inspiring keynotes, in-house consulting, interactive workshops, online training and personal coaching, I help leaders and future leaders develop their empathetic communication skills and the emotional architecture required to build rapport with their teams. My clients leave feeling empowered and assured to implement small changes that will make an immense personal and professional impact. The absorbing modules allow attendees to easily learn WHAT Empathy is, WHY it matters and HOW to communicate empathetically.

Who we've worked with

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QSEC logo
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The change...

  •  I am a better listener when people are talking about their mental health and have been able to comfortably ask them if and how I can help them.

  • A student said she was having very concerning self-harm and suicidal thoughts.  She said I made her feel like she wasn't alone after speaking with her.

  • I have not been afraid to approach the subject. I know not to say I am sorry that has happened to you, but to let them know that some things he/she has experienced would make anyone struggle and that struggling is a normal experience and there is help. 

  • I work with mobile crisis, so there have been several calls I've been on since the workshop... It has been easier to connect with people vs just seeing it as just another call. 

Designer at Work

What actually is Empathy Training?

My unique WISER approach to Empathetic Communication Training has been deliberately crafted demonstrate how to build authentic connections with your colleagues, clients, family and friends. Regardless of your industry or mode of delivery, I help to transform your workplace to be happier, healthier and more successful.


What our students say

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Free Resources

Check out our free resources designed to help you on your empathy journey.

Podcasts, quizzes, online training and PDF downloads.

QSEC Logo SE 2022

Queensland Social Enterprise Council - Member


Empathy First is Social Traders Certified

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Women Beyond 40
2022 Nominee 

Our Empathy Training has been deliberately crafted to show you how to build connection with your colleagues, customers, clients, family and friends. Regardless of your industry, we can help you transform your workplace to be happy, healthy and successful.

It starts with you and it starts with Empathy First.

Image by Priscilla Du Preez

Ready to get started?

Contact us.



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