Written by Jim Knight.
January 14, 2020

As I wrap up day two of our first Intensive Instructional Coaching Institute of the year, I’m thinking about a key strength that we, as coaches, all must have: Empathy. Whether it’s in relation to resource limitations, conflicting personalities among colleagues, issues in the community that make their way into the classroom—or even if it’s something happening with one of your teachers outside of school—coaches need to have the ability to listen and empathize.

I’m reminded of a short video I made a few years ago on the topic of empathy, that I’d like to share with you today. Take a watch and let me know what you think in the comments section.


Download these free forms to help with demonstrating empathy, from chapter 3 of my book, Better Conversations.

Demonstrating Empathy – Looking Back

Demonstrating Empathy – Looking At

Demonstrating Empathy – Looking Ahead

Listening – Looking Back

Listening – Looking At

Listening – Looking Ahead



  1. Karen

    Thanks yet again Jim. You have such a gift for keeping it simple and straightforward, in what can be a minefield situation. I think that’s called wisdom. And its a reminder on humility.

  2. Susan

    Thanks for the advice. I am new in the role of coaching. I do need empathy towards myself. I sometimes go into meetings with fear of being inadequate and thus I am not able to fully participate to the best of my abilities. Your tips and forms will help me clear my head before those big meetings.

  3. Jennifer Johnson

    It is the perfect time of the school year to be checking our empathy. Thank you for the reminder and the forms to help us do this.


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