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Greg Strosaker

Nice explanation of an important concept Steve, especially in laying out questions to use to help truly understand how a person is feeling. Unfortunately, I fear that too many people simply consider empathy as the first bullet (remembering a time they were in a similar situation) and don't recognize that different people react differently to similar situations. This is a kind of false empathy, and can be even worse than outright ignorance.

Bret Simmons

Steve, you are firing on all cylinders lately. This is real good advice on how to make an important but somewhat abstract concept more concrete. Keep up the good work!

Becky Robinson

Hi Steve,

I have a friend who is absolutely excellent in showing empathy and asking helpful questions. I think she has even asked me some of these verbatim at times.

It seems to me that asking these type of helpful questions may be separate from showing empathy, though, because while I feel that I am an empathetic person, your helpful questions do not easily come to my mind. I think I'll have to write them on an index card and put them in my pocket. They're the kind of questions I want to ask others, and great ones to ask myself as well.


Steve Roesler


You know, that's a darned good point about the false empathy thing.

Am going to include it in an upcoming post. Thanks. . .

Steve Roesler

Brett, thanks for weighing in and glad you found it to the point.

Steve Roesler


Your line: ..."I feel I am an empathetic person. . ." is, no doubt, a reflection of what you genuinely do "feel." The key to being helpful is to translate that into something concrete that turns "feeling" into a helpful action. I hope those questions are a good start.

Lani Corriveau

Hi Steve, quick question... Where did you get that picture of the two on the tracks? Someone found it online and showd me- its me and I have no idea whre or when it was!

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