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Empathy is a form of attunement. Empathy is giving your compassionate curiosity by guessing another’s feelings and needs. Consider how you live or relate to each of these 12 essential aspects of empathy. Some of them mention how we can offer empathy without abandoning ourselves, how empathy isn't always the best response, and how "Empathy can be offered when you disagree with another’s opinion,...

Trainer tip: Read on for the three stages of emotional maturity. In the third stage, we integrate the first two stages. We come to realize that everyone is responsible for their own feelings, but we also recognize our role if we do something that stimulates pain in another person. We also start to value the needs of everyone, rather than just one party's needs over the other.

Trainer Tip: When we express frustration without blaming others and by clarifying our own needs and requests, we diminish the possibility of hurt feelings and separation in our relationships. So next time you feel very agitated or angry, rather than implying the other person is wrong or at fault, try the following: own your feelings, make a specific request, and rather than implying they need to...

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Practice Exercise

30 minutes

Grow your compassionate presence with this 3-process exercise. The processes include: Connecting to and feeling the Life Impulse meditation, Creating your own inner space of compassionate presence exercise, and the Compassionately Embracing visualization. These processes will guide you toward deeper self connection and compassionate presence.

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Trainer Tip

1 - 2 minutes

Trainer Tip: Mary shares how staying present to our anger and finding the underlying feelings and needs can lead to deeper connection and more satisfying outcomes.

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Trainer Tip

1 - 2 minutes

Trainer Tip: When have you responded in a way you didn’t want? How could you have handled that situation differently? What would have better met your needs? Try not to judge your behavior, but learn from it. Each time we review our actions, we can learn something, become more adept at new skills, and come closer to our ideal. We can do this with the learning curve of practicing translating...

Trainer Tip: Empathy is a process in which we acknowledge and understand others' experience without judging or bringing up our own life experience. It can defuse a violent situation and anger in seconds, plus provide a clarity that catapults someone to a deeper level of understanding. The process is simple; listen for their feelings and needs. It can be healing for them to be deeply understood.

Trainer Tip: Be aware of opportunities to be honest holding the intention to connect with people. If you do this with the elements of brevity, directness, and respect, you can increase your chances of being heard. If they don't like your honesty, consider switching to empathizing with them by listening to their feelings and needs.

Trainer Tip: Next time you prepare for a challenging conversation, solidly connect with your own feelings and needs before entering into meeting. Then attend the meeting open to creating results that work for everyone. This is likely to give increase chances that the conversation will come to a mutually satisfying conclusion.

Trainer Tip: Sometimes when we look to fix someone's problems we think we're doing it to make them feel better, but in reality we are uncomfortable and we want to feel better. Instead of assuming you know what their problem is or what they need, listen deeply. Your listening presence can bring relief to the both of you and provide additional opportunities for healing. And along the way they may...

It's important to make requests specific and doable. Also, without a swift request immediately after we state our observation, feeling, and need in regard to the situation, the other person is left guessing what we want. Instead, a swift request can bring clarity and lessen the potential for the listener to become defensive or argue.

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Trainer Tip

1 - 2 minutes

Trainer tip: Empathy, hearing feelings and needs behind someone’s words, can be incredibly healing -- and it can help us come to better understanding and resolution. Empathize with at least on person today. Read on for an example of applied empathy.

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Trainer Tip

1 - 2 minutes

Here's a five-step 30 day practice to cultivate gratitude, using the practice of observations, needs, feelings, presence, vitality, awareness of contribution, sharing power and interdependence.

Here's a practice for cultivating more awareness of our thinking and choices, when our feelings and thoughts become stimulated.

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Trainer Tip

1 - 2 minutes

Trainer Tip: To defuse anger and create space for resolution, hear the other person’s feelings and needs. If this practice is new to you, you're like to experience fear and resistance in trying it out. However, you'll be more likely to experience a powerful shift, and build your capacity, if you try it anyways.

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Trainer Tip

2 - 3 minutes

Trainer tip: Empathy can offer profound learning opportunities to children, expand their feelings and needs vocabulary, and teach them the positive results of valuing everyone’s needs. Read on for a story that illustrates this.

Trainer Tip: Changing your thoughts can change the way people experience you. Just for today, see if you can notice when you have judgmental thoughts about yourself or other people. Then look to translate those thoughts into your feelings and needs. Read on for an example of how this works.

Whether its pandemics, climate change, damage to the environment or other massive challenges that humanity faces, what are we to do if we can't agree on even the most basic information and knowledge? From empathic understanding we can focus on shared, universal human needs (where there is no conflict or disagreement) underlying our perceptions, and feelings. Then we can see if there are ways we...

Trainer Tip: Make a boring or "dead" conversation more interesting, meaningful and connecting. You can do this by connecting to the other person’s feelings, passions or desires. Read on for examples.

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Trainer Tip

1 - 2 minutes

Trainer Tip: We may communicate indirectly when we worry about hurting someone’s feelings. Instead, commit to being direct with compassion, love, honesty, and respect to both yourself and others. They may not enjoy what you say, but at least they'll know where you're coming from. Being true to yourself, you can be true to your relationships. And it can build trust.