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Empathy starts with curiosity

Updated: May 2, 2023

A couple of weeks ago during Eid, I was writing and reflecting— looking back between a year and half ago and my here and now.


As I was turning my notebook page after page, I saw some scribbles from my notes when I joined CPC (Certificate in Professional Coaching) Global Cohort 6 I learned a lot from Sarah, Matt, Cristiana, and Aws. (So grateful for all their efforts in coaching and mentoring me. It’s something I never knew I needed!).

Journals are time capsules, indeed. A year and a half ago, I was lost and got stuck in a limbo. I couldn’t find a way out. It was like in a Super Mario game and I have infinite lives but I couldn’t go to the next stage. I kept dying and having to start over and over and over again. (That’s my metaphor of frustration; a proud 90’s kid here.)

Going back to the CPC training, one of the very first things that really grounded me was the NPM (The North Point Meta-Model). I thought I knew a lot about empathy, vulnerability, and compassion but I realized I had a lot more to learn.


The North Point Meta-Model (NPM)

The NPM among all other things and tools, made me understand myself more and others around me. In my personal scribbles, I had written it as — “a definite guide in practicing empathy.”

I came to realize that empathy is not pity nor sympathy. Yes, there is compassion but what triumphs empathy is self-awareness. The awareness of your thoughts leading to more positive actions and making other people around you aware of themselves as well.

A few things that saw from my notes were:

  • Empathy starts with curiosity. When you start getting curious, you start building connection.

  • Give them accountability. Let them find a solution to the problem and be supportive about it.

  • Notice your impact on others. This helps creates new awareness for ourselves.

  • Ask permission first before sharing a feedback.

But one vital point I have here which also connects to another tool which is Powerful Questions is — “When you start asking, you start understanding.”

So when you start asking yourself about your actions, you know yourself better and you can react better. You become more proactive on your reactions.

When you start asking other people about things they value, you start understanding them and where they’re coming from. You get to know how to manage your own emotions and responses which in turn helps you create a positive impact.

This NPM model is always applied in everything that we do inside the organization. That's one NPA story down for now, I’ve got lots and lots to share but I’ll save it for other time!


We will deliver Certificate in Professional Coaching Global Cohort 8 this July, register here to know more information.

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