The Progress Coaching Blog

    Harnessing the Power of Empathy to Redefine Communication

    February 28, 2024 Posted by : Tim Hagen
    0 comment

    Harnessing the Power of Empathy to Redefine Communication

    Get to the heart of emotional intelligence with empathy, a crucial skill sharpened in the shadows of the pandemic. Discover the profound ways in which empathy can transform workplace dynamics and personal connections. Through an enlightening exercise at a client site, we witnessed the power of truly listening without judgment, and Ken's story illuminates the unexpected revelations that come from tuning into colleagues' emotions.

    Be inspired by the dramatic shifts in communication and team bonding that arise when empathy takes center stage. Our conversation traverses the nuances of empathetic interaction, where care and concern go beyond innate traits and become skills to cultivate with intention. This practical guide will enhance your own empathetic listening. Transform your approach to relationships and communication, and experience the ripple effect on your world.

    The third tenet of emotional intelligence is one of the most important ones: empathy.

    We've heard a lot about it, especially since the pandemic. Empathy is the ability to understand others' emotional makeup and attributes, skills, or with people according to their emotional makeup.

    Here's a quick exercise we did at a client site. We asked half the participants in a meeting not to offer opinions, suggestions, or judgments but instead to dive in empathetically to what other people were going through. One of their managers, Ken, called me later and said it was amazing. He found himself resisting to judge or have an opinion. He said it was really hard. But he realized what was more amazing was when he dove in and asked people "How does that impact you? What does that do for you?"

    He heard people say it was devastating. It was overwhelming. They weren't sleeping, and even more hard things to hear. He never once knew the impact of the work they were doing was having that dramatic of effect on people. People just tend to focus on the issues, and if we don't get our way, we stomp our feet and pound our hands on the table like kids. He said it was amazing how much better communication they had with each other within the meeting. He said he'd never been that intently focused on finding out how other people feel.

    Here's the funny and extremely interesting thing: the other half of the group who didn't know this was occurring walked out and said, "Wow, that was really different. People really started to care about us."

    I think people always cared. Yet if you don't practice empathy, you can't show empathy. If we don't show empathy, we also can be judged and labeled.


    • Share the definition of empathy (the ability to understand others' emotional makeup and attributes) and acknowledge the emotions and feelings of others and their potential impacts.

    • Ask the person you're coaching to write down what they do well with empathy and why they believe that is a strength. Then, ask them to write where they feel they have an opportunity to improve their empathy and how that can serve them well in the future.

    • Have the person you're coaching journal on a weekly basis one conversation they had where they practiced empathy successfully and what the outcome of that conversation was (a solution solved, a relationship better developed, etc). Ask them to share that experience from their journal each week for 12-16 weeks.

    • Ask the person you're coaching to think about something they're struggling with and how it makes them feel. Then, have them journal about imagining having a friend come to them with the same problem and what they would say to their friend. This helps them practice empathy on their own.

    Looking for a quick boost to your coaching and leadership game? We're offering a FREE COURSE to help leaders enhance their coaching abilities with

    Lead with Impact: 6 Steps to Building a High-Performance Coaching Culture in Your Organization

    This is a 7-day course with video lessons sent to your email throughout the week. You can watch the recorded lessons on your own time at your own pace.


    • The best attributes of coaching

    • An efficient framework for coaching

    • The crucial tiers of learning

    • The 3 levels of change

    • The power of questions

    • and more!

    Access the free course here:

    UpViral Free Course QR Code For Article


    Mastering Self-Regulation: Transforming Interactions from Conflict to Collaboration
    Navigating Workplace Relationships Through Emotional Insight

    About Author

    Tim Hagen
    Tim Hagen

    Tim Hagen founded Progress Coaching, a Training Reinforcement Partner Company, in 1997. His entrepreneurial career began in college leading to positions in sales, sales management, and sales training for small and large corporations, and eventually ownership of several training companies. Tim is often a keynote speaker at companies teaching the value of coaching and conversations in the workplace. He possesses a unique combination of hands-on experience, academics, and innovative insight to solve the industry’s most common challenges specific to workplace performance. Tim holds a bachelor’s degree in Adult Education and Training from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

    Related Posts
    Embracing the AI Revolution: Insights from Shark Tank's Kevin O'Leary on Transforming Life and Work
    Blending Human Insight with AI: The Evolution of Coaching in the Digital Era
    Overcoming Resistance to Change in the Workplace: Debating AI's Role in Professional Development

    Leave a Reply