What is empathy

read more

What is empathy?

Empathy can be defined as the ability to understand and be sensitive to another person’s feelings, thoughts and actions. It means being able to put oneself in someone else’s shoes and imagine how they must be feeling in the situation that they have found themselves in, and how that is impacting them.

Looking at this definition, you might think of people you know for who empathy comes naturally. However, empathy is not only a trait reserved for empaths. It can be a conscious value you choose to operate from, and, most importantly, it is a skill you can acquire and develop. This means that both empaths, and people who are not naturally empathic can actually learn to become empathic in a healthy and functional way, transforming their private and work life.


For some, empathy comes naturally, a gift they are born with that helps them easily feel and understand the emotional status of someone else. For others, the word empathy can be a nightmare, as ‘feeling other people’s feelings’ couldn’t be more absent from their skill-set than it already is. Or maybe, you find yourself somewhere in the middle. Wherever you fit on the Functional Empathy™ Spectrum, for both natural empaths as well as those who wish they had more of it, empathy exists of a skill-set that can learned, practiced and strengthened.

Empathy: The ability to understand and be sensitive to another person’s feelings, thoughts and actions

Are you a coach, manager or leader? You are invited to join us on LinkedIn.

Our NEWSLETTER – The Empathy Ambassador – discusses everything Empathy, Empathic Leadership, Empath Realities and Functional Empathy.
What Functional Empathy™ is

Why it matters for Leadership & Organizations
How it applies to both empaths and people struggling to adopt empathy into the way they work
Learn more about the 8 types on the Functional Empathy™ Scale
How to start using Functional Empathy™ in your work as a coach, manager or leader.