Sympathy VS Empathy


Stakeholders and Participants alike will resist embracing something new for 3 primary reasons: 

  • Not enough time 
  • Don't feel that it's relevant  
  • Not my way or doesn't think it will help/work

When you encounter these Obstacles, there's a strong urge to sympathize, rather than empathize, with the individual. So, what's the difference?

SYMPATHY is the ability to feel pity and sorrow for other's misfortunes. When we sympathize with someone's excuse, we are buying in to their story and giving it credence. Ultimately, sympathizing makes you part of the problem.

EMPATHY is a skill that allows us to understand and share another person's feelings. When you empathize with a Client, you let them know they have an ally and the solutions you're providing will actually help them move past their obstacles! 

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