2. Show empathy

Practice perspective taking.  When students have issues or concerns, practice taking their perspective before you shut down their suggestions. One of the most effective ways to do this is to use empathetic statements.  According to former FBI Agent Jack Schafer, the basic formula for constructing empathetic statements is …

“So you…”

Example: “So you look like you are having a great day.”

People want others to understand them.  Empathetic statements like this convey that to them.  You should avoid how we naturally try to employ empathy by using statements like: “I know how you feel.”  The other person will automatically think to themselves “No, you don’t know how I feel because you are not me.”  Instead, utilize empathetic statements which allow the person to know that you are looking out for them and are concerned.


Schafer, Jack, and Marvin Karlins. The like Switch: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Influencing, Attracting, and Winning People over. N.p.: First Touchstone, 2015. Print.