Where does it come from?
The Empathy model comes from a ‘full psychometric’ called the Humm Wadsworth, which is widely used in Australia and New Zealand. If you were to complete the full psychometric you would answer 318 questions, which would then be interpreted by a psychologist who would then give you a full report on your temperament. This would typically be about 75 – 90% accurate. Empathy is not a psychometric; it simply takes the 7 major drives or styles in the psychometric model and says that we can recognise some of these characteristics in people if we know what to look or listen for. Clearly it cannot give us a detailed interpretation of someone’s temperament. What it can do is to maybe show us the major drives in a person, and sometimes those that are absent. This can then give us clues about how to successfully relate to that person.

Is it valid?
As it is not used as a psychometric tool then it is neither valid nor invalid. A better question is whether it will work or not. And we have many examples of it working in lots of different situations. Like any skill, whether it works or not depends on how much effort one wants to put into it to learn it and then to put it into practice. In 2 days of training – a relatively small amount of time – one can develop enough skill to be able to use it effectively in everyday working situations.

What’s the difference between this model and many other models of temperament or personality?
One way of describing the differences between behavioural models is to use the analogy of an orange. If we say that the orange represents a person then the cut you make in the orange (representing the analysis of that person) will be different depending on where you cut and how deeply. So, for example, you could just slice off the top without touching the flesh, or you could cut right through the centre. Each cut will produce a very different section, yet it’s the same orange. And so it is with people and behavioural models – each model will produce a different result, yet it’s the same person. The advantage of the Empathy approach is that it is so easy to understand. It is useable in the moment as it does not rely on complex questionnaires or analysis.

How do people use it?
People use the Empathy approach in lots of different situations – in sales, in management, and in other everyday situations where they need to understand and relate to others who may be very different from themselves.

How can I learn more about it?
The best way is to take the 2-day programme with an experienced Empathy trainer. This would help you to not only to understand the model but also to practice the recognition and strategy modules. These modules are key to shifting your own behaviour to adopt the most effective relationship strategy.

How can I best introduce it into my company?
Introducing Empathy into a company can take a variety of forms. Sales teams, for example, are enthusiastic to have something ‘different’ to work with and that gives them a competitive edge in the market place by better understanding their prospects and buyers. Management teams also see the benefit of Empathy in understanding their own team better or in managing or leading people in the way that they want to be managed or led. If you can get the person in your business who is the interested in improving the way the business works, then we can speak to him or her about how to introduce it into the company.

How can I be sure that it’ll work?
There is no guarantee that it’ll work, any more than any other ‘people’ technique which is learnt and applied by people. At its best it can transform relationships; at the least it will raise people’s awareness of others and encourage them to think about how to deal more effectively with those around them.

Isn’t it a form of manipulation?
Whether it’s ‘manipulation’ or ‘motivation’ depends on the intention with which it’s used. Our experience is that people use it to gain insights into themselves and others for mutual benefit. With a clear relationship strategy there is the potential to minimise frustration or conflict to the benefit of all involved.

How can I be sure that my ‘reading’ of someone is accurate?
The Empathy approach cannot give an accurate ‘reading’ of other people. What it will do is to give a broad indication of another person’s inner drives, which can be refined through observation over time. What it offers is a framework by which people can be assessed, the result of which is that the observer becomes more skilled in observation and interpretation of others’ drives and motivations.

How much does it cost?
The cost depends on the programme that you take – whether it’s in-company or open – and how many people are involved in the programme. There are discounts for educational and charitable organisations. Any of our distributors will be happy to discuss the price of a particular programme with you.

Isn’t 7 styles too many to learn and work with?
The advantage of 7 styles is that it allows us to describe a wide range of people and yet it is still a manageable number to remember. Some people would say that 7 is a ‘magic number’ – it’s the number that people can remember in their short term memories. In fact, we find that it only takes a couple of hours training for people to learn the differences in the 7.

Further information is available at www.empathystyles.com

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