When communication becomes difficult, we need to be additionally conscious of our listening skills to ensure we are listening with empathy. Oftentimes, people hear others’ problems and begin viewing those problems from their own personal lens. They might think about how they would solve the problem, or they might immediately respond with their “solution” for the other person. Although these responses may come from a sympathetic standpoint, they do not exhibit empathy and can be off‑putting, especially to someone who is expressing their feelings from a vulnerable place. In this Discussion, you will analyze the role of empathy in a conversation in which you were involved.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Think of a difficult or uncomfortable conversation you have had in which you felt discounted, misunderstood, or devalued, and think of another conversation in which you felt validated, heard, and appreciated. You will analyze these conversations for this week’s Discussion.



Post an analysis of the effects of empathy when communicating with others. In your analysis, do the following:

  • Briefly outline the topic of each conversation and explain how the conversation made you feel. (Supply only information that you are comfortable sharing and that is pertinent to the analysis.)
  • Describe specific behaviors (i.e., words, actions, body language) the other party used that demonstrated empathy or a lack of empathy.
  • Describe the impact of these behaviors on both the outcome of the conversation and the ongoing relationship with the other party.
  • Analyze at least two specific takeaways regarding communicating with empathy in difficult conversations, including how these takeaways align with the information and ideas from this week’s Learning Resources.

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