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Culture of Empathy Builder:  Andrea Cohen


Andrea Cohen & Edwin Rutsch: Dialogs on How to Build a Culture of Empathy & Compassion

Andrea Cohen is a communications consultant, project developer, and facilitator who has been involved with the Compassionate Listening Project for many years. Author: Practicing the Art of Compassionate Listening.
For Andrea, empathy is like the exquisite attunement of musical strings to each other. The opposite is chaos, discord, and the sound of finger nails on the chalk board. She offers ways and skills to create and deepen the attunement.   How to build a culture of empathy?  Listen with the heart and teach people specific conflict resolution skills they can use in the heat of conflict when they might tend to lose their ability to stay centered in the heart.
Sub Conference: Education 





Andrea Cohen & Edwin Rutsch: Dialogs on How to Build a Culture of Empathy & Compassion


  • 00:00 Introduction

  • (transcription pending)

  • (Video Transcriptions: If you would like to take empathic action and create a transcription of this video, check the volunteers page.  The transcriptions will make it easier for other viewers to quickly see the content of this video.)

How to build a culture of empathy?

• Teach people specific conflict resolution skills they can use in the heat of conflict when they might tend to lose their ability to stay centered in the heart
• Cultivate self-compassion
• When in conflict, reach beneath your judgments to recognize the deepest values and essence of the individual, acknowledging them to yourself and reflecting them back to the other person.
• Listen with the heart
• When triggered by another person’s position, ask yourself “where does that behavior or belief I’m critical of live within me?”
• Practice all of this in everyday life with the people closest to us


Andrea Cohen & Edwin Rutsch: Developing a Blueprint on How to Build a Culture of Empathy 




Book: Practicing the Art of Compassionate Listening.

"This book describes the five core practices of Compassionate Listening and offers ways to practice them through a combination of theory, exercises and take-away suggestions."

Table of Contents

  • Forward

  • What is Compassionate Listening?

  • Listening Basics

  • How the Heart Matters

  • Bridging and Inquiry

  • Conflict as Opportunity

  • Judgment and Blame

  • The Drama Triangle

  • Productive Dialogue

  • Afterword

  • Appreciation


Notes about the book;  [Empathic Listening]

  • Centering Practices  [Self Empathy]

    • Various forms of meditation

    • breath awareness

    • journaling

  • Listening Basics  [the process]

    • be present

    • 1.listening without speaking

      • listening exercises

      • Journaling about the experience

    • 2. reflective listening

      • one on one listening for

        • facts

        • feelings

        • values

      • group listening - one person each reflects back

        • facts

        • feelings

        • values

  • Loving Kindness

    • Think of someone you hold dear and bring that memory and feeling into your body. hold the energy and send it out to the world.

    • Speaking from the heart

      • [speaking from the heart,, have some problems with that. just speak, don't need to be told what

      • meditations to connect with the feelings around the heart [the felt sense of the body]

      • [to do like this. it can be a form of judgment and bullying. I'd say, just speak whatever comes up for you in the way that feels right to you]

    • more loving kindness and expand the circle

    • Gratitude and Appreciation

      • self gratitude appreciation

      • other gratitude appreciation

  • Listening and the blocks to listening

    • interruptions

    • steering the conversation

    • questions - can go deeper or steer away

    • use journaling to connect with your (felt sense)

  • Conflict - as opportunity

    • how do we deal with conflict

    • learning through conflict

    • exploring how you relate to conflict

    • people see the world from different perspectives (Susan Partnow) interview

      • [we can learn from the different perspectives - adds to our vision]

    • Your Triggers

      • explore your triggers

      • calming yourself  - loving kindness meditation

      • journaling - trigger journal

      • [how about recording them and find ways of being heard about it]

  • Judgments, blame and taking responsibility [blocks to empathy]

    • explore your Judgment  - self and other

    • judgment worksheet

    • role taking

  • Drama Triangle

    • ->  Victim -> Perpetrator -> Rescuer ->

    • how to take an [empathic stance]

      • Listen to Yourself

      • are you part of the triangle

      • ways to get out

  • Productive Dialogue - creatively creating.  [Empathically creating]

    • my way <-> your way

    • third way

    • individual responsibility

    • practices for group dialogue