Ask Andrea: Empathy is a skill valuable in many areas of life. Can the techniques taught in Trading Places be applied in other relationships as well, including professional?
Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott: Absolutely. While Trading Places was designed for couples – with accompanying his/her workbooks – empathy is for everyone! Especially for singles who are wanting to be as ready for marriage as possible. It always pleases us when we are doing a marriage seminar somewhere around the country to discover that we have single people in the audience.
It’s never too early to learn the important skills of marriage – skills like trading places. And, by the way, we welcome singles to take the free online assessment that accompanies trading places at www.realrelationships.com.
Empathy is deserves a place in work settings. Imagine the difference in how a team functions on a project when members are making an effort to see through each other’s eyes. Or imagine the manager who is working diligently to empathize with people who report to him or her. As the saying, goes, people quit people, not companies. If you have people around you in the workplace who are “trading places,” you’re bound to love your job.
Also, empathy is huge when it comes to parenting. This is one of the most important qualities we can model for our kids. As parents of two young boys, ages 5 and 10, we are intentional about not only trying to empathize with them – being their parents – but we work hard to help them empathize with us and with each other. Empathy is at the heart of every healthy family and it doesn’t happen without great intentional efforts from mom and dad.
Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott are founders the Center for Relationship Development at Seattle Pacific University. Their bestselling books include Love Talk, Your Time Starved Marriage, and the award-winning Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts. Their work has been featured in the New York Times and USA Today and they have appeared on CNN, Good Morning America, and Oprah.