Introduction to Empathy

Welcome to the coaching program on the:


The Rhythm & Blues of Empathy

Resonating with the Feelings of Others to Build Rapport


In this coaching program, you are going to explore how to build rapport with others, create trusting relationships, deepen relationships with the important people in your life, and make people feel more comfortable around you.  

You will:

 §  Define what empathy is and recognize why it is such an important skill to have in life.

§  Realize that you have the capacity to be more empathetic in your dealings with others and that you can build rapport even with people you disagree with.

§  Review simple, practical, powerful ways to develop your level of empathy when interacting with others.


Module #1 starts with exploring the concept of empathy.


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Excellent communication is essential for a fulfilling life and for more successful relationships.  

One of the necessary components of excellent communication is empathy. 

But what exactly is empathy?

To start to answer this question, read this simple story.


“The Blind Man”

An old man with dark glasses was sitting on a busy street corner during rush hour.  He was playing a saxophone and begging for money.  On a cardboard sign, next to an empty tin cup, it said: ‘Blind – Please Help.’

Despite the sign, no one was stopping and giving him any money.

After a while, a young advertising writer walked past and saw the blind man with his sign and empty cup, and also saw the many people passing by completely unmoved, let alone stopping to give him money.

The advertising writer took a thick marker from his pocket, turned the sheet of cardboard over and rewrote the sign, and then went on his way.

Immediately, people began putting money into the tin cup. 

After a while, when the cup was overflowing with coins and dollar bills, the blind man asked a stranger to tell him what the sign now said.

“It says,” said the stranger, “It’s a beautiful day.  You can see it.  I cannot.”


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We react to stories that have a strong emotional element. This story illustrates how we connect to others through our emotions. 

Emotional story components can tug at the compassionate side of who we are.  

Identifying with and understanding someone else’s situation is what empathy is all about.  

As the 18th Century English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge once said, “What comes from the heart, goes to the heart.”

True empathy requires us to be aware of others and the emotions they are experiencing. 

In the next module, you will look further into how empathy is defined, and recognize the ways in which this skill can impact your life in positive ways.

What is Empathy?