School of Coaching Mastery

Coaching Blog

The Trouble with Empathy

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coaching and Empathy

We live in an age when empathy is extolled as a virtue.

 

And so it is. Without empathy in the world, all our relationships would be transactional. Our need for love and belonging could never be met. Kindness and social intelligence would be nonexistent. No one would have a  sincere desire to help and meanness would reign, instead.

 

Not pretty.

 

Many personal growth programs offer to help you develop more empathy. And that's good. But have you thought about how much is enough? Can you ever have too much? How do you know if you have the right amount of empathy? And once you do have enough, how do you manage it?

Please read on...

So what is empathy, exactly? There are three major types:

 

  1. Cognitive Empathy: Basically, you know what others feel. You understand and can imagine what someone else has experienced, both positive and negative.
  2. Emotional Empathy: You feel what others feel. This occurs, in the moment, mainly when you are physically with someone or are talking by telephone, but you may continue to carry those feelings even after the interaction.
  3. Compassionate Empathy: You want others to feel better. This is empathy + a desire to help + action. When you understand or feel a need that another is experiencing, you want to help, and you do.

 

Which types of empathy do you need to coach effectively?

 

Cognitive empathy can help a coach perform the skills of coaching. But without emotional and compassionate empathy, the coach may be more likely to manipulate their clients, by directing or controlling, or may simply be unmotivated to coach.

Compassionate empathy does motivate coaches. But they need to practice discipline in the ways they help. If they also have cognitive empathy, that can help them imagine how their help will impact clients in the longrun. Will they become relient on the coach or will they grow? If the coach creates dependency in the client, that's good for the coach's ego but not for the client. Because no one reaches their full potential if they need someone else as a crutch.

Emotional empathy is, literally, at the heart of great coaching. Without it, many advanced coaching skills taught in coaching schools like this one, will make no sense to the learner. But coaches with emotional empathy need to develop the ability to distinguish their own emotions from those they pick up from others. Cognitive empathy can help with that, but it takes effort.

 

So what's the trouble with empathy?

 

Western culture, with its emphasis on independence, seems to encourage less and less empathy. Social media has been found to excelerate this. And psychologists tell us that leadership and success both tend to diminish a person's levels of empathy. The result is a culture that is increasingly manipulative and often mean. So more empathy might be the answer, but that's only half the problem.

Some people are born with a higher capacity for emotional empathy. But until they develop self-awareness and self-management skills, they may just experience chaos, especially when around others who are highly-emotional.

 

Living with high emotional empathy is like riding a wild bronco until we develop emotional intelligence.

 

When I was a little girl, I tried to ride my grandmother's horse, Danny, but he tried to buck me off. Within seconds, with both feet out of the stirrups, I was perilously close to being trampled as I hung off the side of the bucking horse, with just one little hand gripping the saddlehorn. Seeing what was about to happen, my grandmother ran out, grabbed the reins, and calmed Danny down. And yes, she made me get right back up on the horse and ride him around the corral again, so I wouldn't develop a fear of horses.

 

My grandmother's courage, calm, and skill saved my life that day.

 

So that's the problem with empathy and also the answer. When we have too little, or only one type, we tend to treat people unkindly. When we use it in an unskilled manner, we can harm people without meaning to. And when we have too much empathy with too little management, we're out of control. Other people can get hurt, and we are prone to trauma, depression, and anxiety.

 

If you have high levels of empathy, especially emotional empathy, and you develop the courage, calm, and skill to manage it, you have the raw material to become a great coach.

 

In addition to managing yourself, learn manage your environment so you can be at your very best. Develop your courage to set boundaries, your calm with self-care, and your skill at getting your needs met.

 

A great coach can help clients develop and manage their empathy.

 

The upcoming course on Values, Needs, and Strengths (the three most important subjects in coaching); will help you develop and manage those skills and abilities.

 

But get started with the FREE Become a Coach eBook:

 

Get a free Become a Coach eBook here.

 

 

PS: I still love horses.

 

Topics: become a life coach, Master Certified Coach, coaching schools, coaching skills, coaching call, Strengths, Needs, Values, setting boundaries, highly sensitive, self care, Empaths, empathy

Join a Virtuous Cycle of Joy and Success this December

Posted by Julia Stewart

upward cycle

How do you define success? More money? Joy? Time? Love?

Whatever success means to you, would you like more of it? Most of us would and there is an inspiring approach that will help you, help others around you, and creates a virtuous cycle for everyone concerned.

As this difficult year comes to a close and as most cultures celebrate important holidays, now is the perfect time to co-create this virtuous cycle. Read on for how you can join in for free...

What if virtually all forms of success were related to smarter giving? They may be according to research by Adam Grant and others. Here are a few ways smarter giving benefits you:

  • Givers are more successful negotiators.
  • Givers strengthen their relationships.
  • Givers experience fulfillment.
  • Givers spark creativity and innovation.
  • Givers' clients express more satisfaction.
  • Givers inspire others to give.
  • Givers receive more in return.
  • Givers experience more joy.
  • Givers inspire joy in others.

Of course, givers can be taken advantage of, but there are smart ways to reduce or eliminate being taken.

Come learn how to be a smart giver this holiday season and help us establish a virtuous cycle of giving. It is free to join and could be the inspiration that makes 2020 one of your very best years.

Fully Alive with Positive Psychology (Giving Edition) starts this Wednesday, December 2nd, for four weeks, 7-8 PM EST. It's a live webinar with me, Julia Stewart that is free to join, but seating is limited so please only join if you will attend. No recordings will be sent out, because all of the value is in the attendance of this live reciprocity circle.

Don't miss this unique opportunity to share an amazing experience. Sign up today and mark your calendar!

Attend Free Fully Alive for Joy and Success

Topics: Free, coaching success, successful business, personal development, Positive Psychology, Boundaries, setting boundaries, Fully Alive, personal growth, self care

Coaching Tip: Nine Ways to Say "No"

Posted by Julia Stewart

No!Many people find it really hard say "no". And, as you probably know, some people are harder to say "no" to than others. But not saying "no" when you need to can absolutely ruin your life, so it's important to learn to do it right.

Saying "no" is the first step in setting effective boundaries, which is a requirement for living a great life.

When you have the tools you need to say "no", you can open the door do being, doing and having what you really want. However, depending on how hard it is for you to say "no", you may also need coaching in order to incorporate this skill into your life. I became a coach, in part, to master this skill and now it's one of my coaching specialties.

I'm here to tell you that if you have a hard time saying "no", you're missing out on some of the best things in life, because you're not getting the chance to say "yes" to what you really want. That's one reason why hiring a masterful life or business coach is such a powerful game changer.

Whether or not you've already hired your own coach, here are some tips on how to say "no" effectively to almost anyone, including family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers who nag, plead, bully, etc. You will need to practice them in order to master them.

How much freer will your life be when you only say "yes" when you really mean it?

  1. The simple no. Do your best to say "no" with a neutral tone of voice. No edge, no charge. Simply say, "No", followed by no explanation. This is the most powerful way to say "no". A variation is: "I'm sorry, No." The key is to not offer an explanation. Explanations just invite arguments.
  2. The kinder no. Say, "I wish I could." (If necessary, follow with: "I understand. I wish I could.") This establishes that you're still a kind person, but you just can't. Again, no explanations.
  3. The preference no. Say, "I'd rather not." (If necessary, follow with: "I understand. I'd rather not.") This time, you're being clear that you have a preference and that preference is, "no". No need to explain it.
  4. The conditional no. Say, "I can't do it now, but I can do it ______." (If necessary: "As I said, I can't do it now, but I can do it ______.") This is a conditional "no". In some cases, you may be willing to say, "yes", but only under your conditions. Avoid trying to convince the other person that your condition is right. It doesn't matter who's right. (By the way, you have a "right" to set boundaries, even if you're "wrong".)
  5. The broken record no. If the other person argues, say, "Be that as it may, I can't." Repeat exactly this phrase and nothing else, until the other person runs out of arguments. Again, avoid engaging in any argument or explanation. This is known as the "broken record" response. The person that you repeat it to will run out of steam, eventually.
  6. The oh no. Just say, "Oh." This is useful if the other person tries to push your buttons, which is a common tactic of people who can't accept the word, "no." They most likely are upping the ante in order to engage you in an argument that they are used to winning. "Oh" is disarming, because it gives them nothing to argue with. Again, use a neutral tone of voice. Do your best to stay calm.
  7. The I'm not having a good time no. If the person you're saying "no" to persists, say, "I'm not having a good time and I'd like to end this conversation." If they still persist, say, "I'm not having a good time and I'm leaving."
  8. The stop no. If they still persist, "I'm asking you to stop." Stay calm. Next, "I'm requiring that you stop." Continue to stay calm.
  9. The traffic cop no. Finally, put your hand up, palm forward (think traffic cop) and repeat any of the steps above. This is extremely powerful.

If good fences make good neighbors, then good boundaries make great relationships, great careers and great lives.

Once you've mastered these nine ways to say "no", the energy vampires in your life will slink off to find other victims and the energy that you free up for your own life will be incredible. You'll also start attracting higher quality people. And paradoxically, you'll probably become a more giving person. Trust me on this.

These nine ways to say, "No" will help you build effective boundaries within which you can create your best life. If you need a coach to help you, I still take a few clients. If you want to help others create fantastic lives and careers, join School of Coaching Mastery. Either way, it's okay to call me at 877-224-2780 to find out.

Topics: business coach, life coach, School of Coaching Mastery, become a coach, Coaching Tip, Masterful Coaching, setting boundaries, say no

    Subscribe for FREE: Learn About Coaching

    Follow Us

    The Coaching Blog

    If you're a professional Business or Life Coach or you're interested in becoming one, the SCM Coaching Blog covers topics you may want to know about: How to Become a Business or Life Coach, Grow a Successful Coaching Business, Get Coach Training and/or Business and Life Coach Certification, Become a Coaching Master and Evolve Your Life and Business. 

    Subscribe above and/or explore by tag, month or article popularity, below.

    Latest Posts

    Most Popular Posts

    Browse by Tag

    Top Career-Jobs Sites Living-Well blog