Three Step Empathy - Listen, Reflect, Respond.
‘Three Step Empathy - Listen, Reflect, Respond’ is process for developingempathy by artist/facilitator Carl Scrase.Empathy comes with practice. It is a creative skill – many techniques have beendeveloped over the years to help people build their ability to empathise withothers. I am actively trying to learn these skills through my participation in the:arts, facilitation and co-operative movement.This is my attempt to develop a very simple process to practice active empathy –I call it ‘Three Step Empathy’. I would like to invite you to walk through thesethree steps and create a deep reciprocal relationship with another human being.Find someone to talk with – be fearless. Get an agreement to practice thisempathy process while trying to stay calm, wise and centred. Find somewherecomfortable where you can face each other with open body language.Find a subject you may have a differing perspective on – you don’t need to havevastly different perspectives, it is unlikely that you will ever find someone that is intotal 100% agreement with your perspective on anything. They can be big culturalsubjects like “Is capitalism de-humanising?” or they can be very specific livedknowledge such as “I experienced empathy one time by….. and learned……”. Agree to take it in turns to go through the following three steps. One person willlisten, reflect then respond. Then the other person will take their turn to listenreflect and respond.
Step 1) Listen Deeply
- Be fully present, notice what is happening as the otherspeaks: body language, quiver in the voice, glint in the eye. Don’t judge what theother person is saying just take it in. Don’t say anything extensive but you cangive supportive utterances such as “go on”, “yes, I am hearing you” and “aha”.
Step 2) Reflect Back
– In your own words reflect what the other person said. Beyourself and communicate how you heard what they said. Start with sentenceslike “I heard you say….”, “I saw how much it meant to you by the way your eyeslit up when you said…. ”, “I remember that you said…..”
Step 3) Respond Wisely
– Communicate your perspective in a hearable way.Speak from the heart. Talk about your point of view and the reasons behind them.Talk about what the effects on you might be. Talk about the needs you have.Start with sentences like “I really appreciate you communicating your perspective,my perspective is…..”, “The reasons behind my point of view are…..”.Thanks for taking the time to go through the Three Step Empathy process. Iwould appreciate your feedback. What did you like about the process? What giftsof improvement do you have for me? Please contact me though Twitter orFacebook by tagging #StartEmpathy.Yours empathically,Carl Scrase.