Are you trapped by your Empathy Style?

I watched the film The Truman Show recently and it occurred to me that there were some parallels with Empathy Styles. In the film Jim Carrey plays Truman Burbank, the star of a TV show. But he doesn’t know that he’s on TV! Everyone in his life – friends, relatives and work colleagues – are actors, all playing a part in his life inside a huge studio which looks like the ‘real world’. Everywhere there are hidden cameras watching his life and broadcasting live to the world.

Eventually, in his 30’s, he realises that something is wrong and he finally manages to get out. There is a parallel to Empathy Styles here. In the same way that Truman is caught in the world that has been made up by the director of the TV show, we can get caught in our own Empathy style. We can tend to believe that that because we are strong, medium or weak in whatever styles we are, that is how we have to behave.

Actually we can behave in any way that we choose to. Often I notice other people being ‘effective’ by behaving in an appropriate way to get the result that they (and others) need at that moment. So, for example, for a while the Double-Checker becomes decisive, the Politician reveals their compassionate side and the Engineer realises that other people don’t need all the details of their project.

One way of looking at Empathy Styles is to believe that it is not ‘hard-wired’ into us and that we can change. You don’t need to be locked into your Empathy Styles – you can be who you want to be. So, if the way you typically do something is frustrating to you, or you believe you could be more effective, why not try out a different approach today and see what happens?

No comments yet. Be the first.

Leave a reply