Empathy is a core component of this work, and guess what? It takes practice. Here are some of the key components of empathy and – most importantly – communicating empathy.

  • Affective empathy – The ability to “walk in the other person’s shoes” and feel what they are feeling.
  • Cognitive empathy – The ability to understand the other’s perspective and thinking.
  • Somatic empathy – The ability to mirror the body state of the other.
  • Active listening communicates empathy:
    • Name and Reflect: “I can see you feel sad.”
    • Validate: “It makes sense you’d feel that way.”
    • Paraphrase and summarize: “You’re saying that what you felt made you feel out of control and you’re struggling with how to manage that.”
    • Mirror: Use your body to mirror where they are – get down on their level, lean in when they lean in, lean out when they lean out.