“Don’t do for me, that which I can do for myself. Do for me what I am incapable of doing for myself.” This is the heart cry of someone who is struggling with life’s problems. This is what God did through Jesus Christ when He set aside His glory, entered into the reality of His creation, and provided a path of reconciliation for you. This is empathy.
Empathy requires you to model God’s actions towards mankind by voluntarily setting aside your standing, status, or station, entering into the reality of someone who is struggling with life’s problems, and creating the environment for that person’s restoration. Throughout this book, you will learn how to order your life to become a person of empathy. You will be challenged to step into someone’s life and offer the four actions of empathy. You will also learn how to live life beyond yourself by being a conduit for God’s resources to flow through you for the benefit and growth of others.
The first action that communicates empathy is mentoring.
Mentoring is a developmental relationship through which one person (the mentor) shares knowledge, skills, information and perspective to foster the personal and professional growth of someone else (the mentee). There are five elements of the mentoring relationship that produce the potential for empathy to flourish. They are time, intentionality, wisdom, active listening, and intuition. Of all of these elements, time is the most important. Unless you spend time with a person, you will have a limited knowledge about the depth of that person’s soul. Mentoring requires both quality and a quantity of time. It is through the quantity of time spent with someone who is struggling that you find the quality of time necessary to create the environment of restoration.
The second action that communicates empathy is encouraging.
Encouraging is a developmental relationship through which one person inspires, with courage or confidence, the ability of another, to accomplish something far beyond the normal capacity of that person’s perceived limitations. To encourage is to instill or infuse with courage. We see this behavior as Jesus infused seventy disciples to go out and heal the sick and proclaim the kingdom of God is near. When someone is struggling or suffering, you need to comprehensively encourage that person in six primary areas. You need to strengthen that person with physical courage. You will also need to strengthen that person with intellectual courage. Another area that needs to be built up with courage is a struggling or suffering person’s emotional state. As the one who is walking along side of a person who is struggling, you need to also encourage that person with moral courage. In close relationship to moral courage is the necessity to infuse social courage into the life of a person who is struggling. The final area that requires courage is the spiritual aspect of a person’s life.
The third action that communicates empathy is nurturing.
Nurturing is a developmental relationship through which one person promotes and sustains the growth and development of another, by meeting the immediate physical needs, while building the foundation of self-sustainability. Unlike mentoring, which requires time and intentionality, and unlike encouraging, which requires a comprehensive infusion of courage, nurturing requires a commitment of physical resources and the ongoing investment into another’s life until self-sustainability is achieved. Nurturing is the act of allowing God’s resources to flow through you to meet the immediate needs of those who are struggling and suffering.
The final action that communicates empathy is supporting.
Supporting is a developmental relationship through which one person serves as a foundation to sustain and withstand the weight of the personal burdens of someone else until that individual is restored. For someone who is struggling, supporting is the knowledge that someone else cares. It is the sense that someone else has your back. Someone who is struggling needs to have a sense of security within a trusted relationship. The developmental relationship of supporting is to meet the ongoing needs (not just the immediate needs) of someone who is struggling so that he can begin to realize progress in other areas of his life.
This can be accomplished in two ways: directly or indirectly. When you directly meet the needs of someone in the midst of his struggles, you are providing the resources to shore up the walls that threaten to collapse and bury the person. Indirect support takes place in the form of providing the resources to an organization that then provides the direct physical support to those who are struggling. You also might assist the person with identifying and securing the resources necessary to aid the person through a difficult time. You do not necessarily need to be the source of the resources to have an empathetic spirit.
As a person of empathy, you need to voluntarily set aside your standing, status, or station, enter into someone else’s reality, and be the catalyst for that person’s restoration. With Jesus as your model and the Holy Spirit as your guide, you will begin to build up the courage, desire, and ability to become that empathetic spirit that will make a difference in the life of someone who is struggling.
The excerpt is taken from the new book by Coach Kenneth E Rupert, “Empathy: Love and Life Beyond Self”. Jesus Christ provided us with the example of how to be a more empathetic person. As coaches, we need to recognize that beyond accountability and the motivation to achieve results, we are mentors, encouragers, nurturers, and supporters of our clients.
About the Author – ICCA writer Ken Rupert is founder of The Vita-Copia Group and a Board Certified, Master Christian Life who specializes in Strategic Life Coaching & Financial Mentoring. He is a successful Author who has released:
- Planned Excellence: How to Achieve Greatness through Strategic Planning
- Strategic Goals: The DNA of Personal Success
- The Dynamics of Abundant Life: Living a Life of Purpose and Meaning
- 10 Ways to Improve Your Retirement Planning: Behavioral Changes That Make a Difference
All of which are available at his website http://kenrupert.com, Cross Books Publishing or Amazon.com. Contact Coach Ken directly firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his About.me profile to find out more about his vision to impact legacy. http://about.me/ken_rupert
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