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01/13/2021

Diary January 13th 2021 - What is empathy ?

What do you think is respectful understanding about another person's experience ?
According to the Coaching Psychology Manual textbook (2016), the following communication patters are not recommended in behavior change coaching. It is easy to say and read, but it is not easy to apply this guideline to real settings.

Holley Humphrey notes that the following communication patterns interfere with empathy, whether they are intended to be constructive or not. That's because these communication patterns come from pity and sympathy than they do from empathy.

Advising - I think you should ...    How come you didn't ...
Educating - This could turn into a very positive experience for you if you just ...
Consoling - It wasn'T your fault, you did the best you could ...
One-upping - That's nothing; wait until you hear what happened to me
Storytelling - That reminds me of the time ...
Shutting down - Cheer up. Don't feel so bad
Interrogating - When did this begin ?
Commiseerating - Oh, you poor thing
Explaining - I would have called but ...
Correcting - That's not how it happened

All of these approaches increase the likelihood of resistance talk. The use of empathy, inquiry, and reflection increase the likelihood of change talk.

Retrieved from
Moore, M., Jackson, E., & Tschannen-Moran, B. (2016).
Coaching psychology manual, second edition.
Philadelphia, PA : Wolters Kluwer.

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