The two essentials of empathy 💕

| 21 June 2024

Empathy is much more than imagining yourself in someone else’s shoes, although it’s a good start.

Empathy has two stages. The first is seeing the world through the eyes of the person you’re listening to, putting yourself in their shoes and seeing their perspective (this doesn’t mean you have to agree with it).

But that’s not all.  You also need to communicate (in your own words) your understanding of the other person’s experience.

I learned this the hard way nearly 25 years ago during my first coach training programme.

My ‘coachee’ described a very tough situation in our practice session.  I felt so sad for her.

But I didn’t say it –  so how did she know that I ‘got’ her? She didn’t.

‘I saw no empathy there at all, Lynn,’ my trainer told me.

I was mortified.

A simple ‘I can see how tough that is for you right now’ or ‘I’m so sorry you’re going through this’ would have been enough.

Don’t sit on your hands and think it – say it out loud.

Here’s to your success always.

P.S. If growing your leadership presence is on your radar, you’ll love the Claim your Confidence week I’m running from 9-16 July.