Empathy and its relevance in the Training Room

Last week I was undertaking the QQI Level 6 course in Training Delivery and Evaluation.  Despite having given many presentations throughout my career, both in marketing and as a coach, and having written and delivered my own courses, I hadn’t actually got around to getting a formal training qualification.

I was excited but also a little apprehensive to be back on the learning side of the fence.  I needn’t have feared.  The other participants were lovely and supportive and the trainer was fantastic.

We had to give a presentation on the final day, and I decided to give mine on the subject of ‘Empathy and its relevance in the Training Room.’  So while it’s fresh in my brain, I thought I would share my recent learning with you.

Image result for images of empathy

So, what is empathy?  It is defined as:

‘the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.’

Sounds straightforward enough? Maybe, but you would be surprised how many of us could do with developing a bit more of this skill.   We have become increasingly judgemental.  Just look at Twitter – need I say more?!

It is easy to judge and criticize but far more challenging to take a step back and ask yourself – ‘why might this person be behaving in this way?’  We can all identify once we hear that perhaps they have a sick child or family member.  Maybe they are going through relationship or financial worries.  Whatever it may be, there is usually a reason behind behaviour we may view as difficult or obstructive.

With that in mind I am going to share two links to two wonderful people, who can illustrate the power of empathy with far more charisma and style than I could ever hope to with words!  The first is Brené Brown.  This clip only takes a couple of minutes to watch, but it is a powerful statement of the Power of Empathy.


The second clip is Dr Wayne Dyer reciting a poem called ‘The Cookie Thief’ by Valerie Cox.  I adore this poem and if it doesn’t leave you with plenty to think about – then listen again!!


Empathy is an incredibly powerful tool and dear knows in today’s world, we would all do well to practice it a bit more!  I will certainly be mindful to practice empathy in the training room, and I hope you will practice it wherever and whenever it is most needed.