The 3 Types of Empathy Explained: Part III, Compassionate Empathy

January 09, 2020

The adage, “think with your head, not with your heart,” would make you think that emotional empathy (Part I of this series) and cognitive empathy (Part II of this series) cannot coexist. Luckily, that’s not true! When the heart and mind meet in the middle, the third type of empathy comes alive—Compassionate Empathy.

Compassionate empathy is the antithesis of knee-jerk reactions and it is often the ideal response to challenging situations as this skill blends intellect, emotion, and action by considering the whole person. By developing compassionate empathy, you’ll go beyond a simple [...]

Posted in Emotional Intelligence, How to Build Empathy

The 3 Types of Empathy Explained: Part II, Cognitive Empathy

January 07, 2020

Welcome to the second part of the in-depth series on the types of empathy. In Part 1, you learned about Emotional Empathy. Now, it’s time to explore Cognitive Empathy. In the next blog, we’ll cover Compassionate Empathy.

To begin, think about all the people in your life. Is there someone you turn to when you need a solution to a problem? Someone who can cut through your emotional mess and help you formulate a plan of action?

These go-to problem-solvers often rely on cognitive empathy to make sense of other people’s struggles. Cognitive empathy is a characteristic of emotional intelligence [...]

Posted in Emotional Intelligence, How to Build Empathy

The 3 Types of Empathy Explained: Part I, Emotional Empathy

January 04, 2020

“Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another and feeling with the heart of another.” ~Alfred Alder

You may have heard Alder’s description of empathy before, but did you know there are three types of empathy? That’s right! There’s Emotional Empathy, Compassionate Empathy, and Cognitive Empathy, and each one has its uses. This series of posts will explore each type of empathy in depth so you can better recognize and utilize them.

Let’s begin with Emotional Empathy. When someone uses the quote above or calls themselves an “empath,” they’re typically [...]

Posted in Emotional Intelligence, How to Build Empathy

Mini-Habits to Support Your Growth and Success

November 30, 2019

Years ago, I attended an out-of-state business training and was chosen to be a part of an interactive exercise that the facilitator conducted. The exercise required us to take steps along a tightrope, maintaining balance while also ensuring that our team members before and after us were safe and secure. It was a difficult task. The experience gave me practice firsthand in balancing while simultaneously striving to accomplish a distant goal. 

What echoes in my mind from that day is the frustrated colleague directly behind me who barked, “Just take small, manageable steps!”

Posted in Emotional Intelligence

Empathy & the Empathetic Apology: New, Improved "I am sorry."

October 08, 2019

Apologies are essential in our relationships. No matter how they are given, whether through an apology letter or in person, apologies recognize that hurt has happened due to the actions of another. Without that recognition, bitterness and resentment can build.

When given freely and sincerely, apologies hold the power to be precious. They say, “I have screwed up and have hurt you.” Are we able to mend and move forward in our relationship in spite of the screw-up? Will the experience result in greater distance or more closeness and understanding?

Posted in Emotional Intelligence

The Power of Empathy: More than a Band-Aid for the Heart

August 13, 2019

One of the most needed and talked about topics and skills right now is empathy. Why? Because we are all longing for connection. People are hungry to be understood. And empathy has become a lost art. The power of empathy is at the core of emotional intelligence (EQ) and relationship mastery. It faithfully delivers the ability to connect with people we love and care about—and even handle those difficult people in our lives gracefully.

Do you ever feel ill-equipped to respond to a friend, spouse, or co-worker when they're sharing strong feelings or a painful experience? Do you postpone those [...]

Posted in Emotional Intelligence, How to Build Empathy

5 Simple Keys to a Happier, Vibrant Life

August 10, 2019

How would your life be different if you could have regular support, deep connection, and inspiration that you could count on?

Life without love and friendship is empty. Work without support, collaboration, and a shared vision make for a lonely path. As human beings, we are wired for relationship, and connecting is crucial. Families, businesses, and communities disintegrate without genuine connection. Happier living requires connection with oneself and each other!

Sure, we can climb the mountain of life alone, but it's not as safe and isn't nearly as fun! Going it alone isn't what we need [...]

Posted in Emotional Intelligence

The Meaning of Empathy and Sympathy—and How to Tell the Difference!

July 18, 2019

You’d be forgiven for mistaking sympathy and empathy for synonyms. Much of pop culture and even many dictionaries confuse the two. On a basic level, they are similar. But in a very meaningful, practical way—empathy and sympathy are two separate practices and distinct emotional responses. We'll identify the difference between empathy and sympathy by exploring their roots and meanings.

Posted in Emotional Intelligence, How to Build Empathy

"Look What You Made Me Do!" How to Avoid the Blame Game

July 16, 2019

Blaming is a common reaction. The blame game used to be one of my primary arsenals. Years ago, whenever I felt helpless or overwhelmed, I blamed the dog, my kids, or even the chair in the way when stubbing my toe. Anything in earshot received a rant of blame. "Look what you made me do!"

Hmm. Does anyone or anything really make us do anything?So why do we blame? Think about it for a moment. An intense feeling boils up and out comes the biting remark. It's easy and takes the heat off of us. And what's the heat? Painful and uncomfortable feelings. Phew! The hurt stops temporarily. 

Posted in Communication & Interpersonal Skills, Emotional Intelligence

How to Talk to Someone with Empathy—and What to Avoid!

June 25, 2019

Recently, someone shared the following experience with me:

“During a hectic and stressful time, I bumped into a friend at a coffee shop. She looked almost as stressed out as I felt, so I asked her what was wrong. Immediately, she began venting about an argument she just had with her husband. I tried to listen, but my mind was stuck on my own problems. As soon as I swung my attention back to her, I noticed that her expression had gone from stressed to withdrawn and angry. She stopped making eye contact and quickly said good-bye. I had really stepped in it. I had not shown my good friend [...]

Posted in Emotional Intelligence, How to Build Empathy