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Empathy builds trust, generates business, and can be credit unions’ competitive advantage in the marketplace

Empathy is in our DNA as credit unions and has been at the heart of our business since day one. If you walk through our history, empathy has always been at the core of doing what is right for our members. It has driven our success in the past but is also the key to our success moving forward.

Simply put, empathy fuels connection. This connection is a doorway to knowledge and understanding of our colleges, our members, and our communities. This helps us make good, informed decisions and helps us understand how to create constructive change that empowers others. Using empathy takes a conscious effort but lucky for credit unions, empathy is one of the greatest and most reliable tools in our cooperative toolbox. We can continue to leverage this tool to embody humanity in financial services and treat each other with the dignity and respect we all deserve.

The Foundation’s work in empathy

At the Foundation, we’ve been doubling down on empathy with the goal of going beyond what empathy is and supporting credit unions in the practice of empathy.

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    Empathy eSchool

    The Foundation partnered with CUNA to host the eSchool Putting Empathy in Action During a Pandemic, which consisted of 4 sessions led by Foundation Director of DE & Cooperative Culture, Chad Helminak

    View eSchool Sessions

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    Leading Through Empathy

    Credit union employees bring our shared mission to life every day, but many of them may be wrestling with events or emotions that impact them on a personal level and could possibly impact their work and the culture of your organization.

    7 tips for leading through empathy

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    Putting Empathy into Action

    Empathy is simple but not easy. It’s simple in practice but not always easy to pause and consider how and when we should practice empathy. Here are a few ideas to practice empathy and feel comfortable in supporting others.

    Download the handout

Exploring Our Values

Values are what guide us to make good business decisions in the best interest of our members, our employees, and organizations.

The Exploring Our Values learning resource helps you reflect on how your role and values intersect with the mission of your organization and broader credit union movement to reinforce the “why” behind the work you do every day. This self-guided course pairs exploration of values with the fundamentals of credit unions’ cooperative structure, principles and history using key lessons from the signature Development Education (DE) Program.  

Access Exploring Our Values


course sections

Have questions or want to learn more?

Reach out if we can be helpful in any way.
Even if it’s just to listen.

Contact Chad Helminak,
Director of DE & Cooperative Culture

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Chad Helminak, CUDE

Director of Programs & Impact

Chad leads the Foundation’s signature Credit Union Development Education (DE) Program and provides strategic direction and resources that help credit unions communicate and leverage their differentiating value proposition.