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Empathy Meeting Self Guide

Empathy Meeting Self-Guide

To help stay connected to your deeper needs and to the humanity in others, and to be more effective in getting your needs met and facilitating solutions…

Preparing for the conversation..

  • In the orange box labelled “Requests,” write things you want to ask other participants for, identifying the needs that would be met for if those requests were to be fulfilled. Naming your universal human need for the other party may help them understand better and empathize with what what you’re seeking.

  • In the same orange box you can note the key human needs up for you in relation to the meeting that you want a visual reminder of during the meeting.

  • If, in preparation for the meeting, you realize you are “triggered,” i.e. have pain or tough emotions when you think about other meeting participants, you may want to jot down a few “Empathy Guesses” in the “Empathy Guesses” box about the Universal Needs that might be motivating them, so that you can cue yourself to remember that during the meeting and stay more connected to them and to your purpose.

during the meeting

  • If you become triggered, i.e. if you get stimulated into a painful emotional state (e.g. frustration, anger, irritation, worry) you can write down your “FTN,” or feelings, thoughts, and needs, in the gold box, instead of having them distract you or missing an opportunity for them to give you valuable information about needs of yours that you want addressed.

  • You can also record specific things that are said or thoughts you have that really bother you or that you want to understand more deeply, to note them to work on later. We call these “triggers,” and you can also record those of people you are meeting with, if you notice specific things that seem to really bother them that you want to think about how to address in future

  • If you notice you are triggered and want to try to connect better with other participants, you can guess their needs, feelings, and important phrases or ideas (“Words”) in the “Empathy Guesses” section on the right of the gold box

  • In the yellow box at bottom jot down any ideas for “Solutions” you have that would meet your needs as well as the other parties’ that you want to raise during or after the meeting, and next steps or anything content areas you want to learn more about after the meeting.

after the meeting

As the meeting is concluding, in the golden boxes in the upper right you can give yourself a % of how much of the time you were able to be in empathy with the other person(s), able to at least inhabit a caring space. This is for your own learning and growth, to draw your attention to individual people you may want to work on your internal relationship to, perhaps using an intensity exercise such as can be seen on the Toolset Process Videos page.

On the back of the Empathy Meeting Self-Guide you can review how the meeting has gone more in-depth, by looking at what needs of your were unmet, either by your own actions or by those of others’, “Mourning,” and what needs of yours were met, “Celebrating.” Sometimes, one action will both meet some needs and not meet others, such as choosing not to speak up, or speaking up on a particular issue. In the “Learn Plan Practice,” section you can write requests you have of yourself, such as next steps or triggers you want to practice with, or new understandings.

You can also sift through your notes on the front page to identify specific triggers you want to practice with, perhaps using an intensity exercise such as can be seen on the Toolset Process Videos page.