Performance Coaching for Empaths in Leadership and at Work


I have never met a highly empathic person who significantly improved their performance with cookie-cutter systems. All of the empaths I have coached, for over 20 years, work best when they are supported in listening to their highly tuned inner compass. Their inner knowing. Their intuition.

Empaths have frequently been treated as outsiders, as weird. Why?

  • They can’t “rationally” explain what they know and why they know it. They just do. And their “knowing” is usually spot on.
  • Their needs are frequently outside of the “norm” and therefore require more customized support. (Perceived as high-maintenance to those who don’t get them.)

A common problem empaths face is that they can easily get distracted and lose sight of their mission or their trajectory.

Here’s what empaths need and what you can do to coach them in being their best. Empaths need support to fuel their confidence. And courage to stand strong in what they know. What this looks like:

  • Someone to stand by and clap for them. Seriously. (Hey, professional athletes benefit from cheerleaders, why not empaths?!) Someone (or a group) who says, “I see you and I celebrate you! Bring it ON! GO GO GO!!!”
  • Someone to support them in simply facing their resistances or fears in order to overcome obstacles (inner and outer). This requires 2 things: 1) high-quality listening, reading between the lines. Reflecting back what they hear.  And 2) the ability to stand with them inside of the most challenging emotions. The deeper you can go inside yourself, the deeper you’ll be able to meet them – and validate them – in their pain.
  • Someone to help them get clear about where they are heading. This requires possibility-thinking combined with deep listening. This is where most therapists and coaches usually drop the ball. Most therapists are not usually practiced in out-of-the-box possibility thinking. And most coaches work within pre-fabricated systems (such as personality quizzes).

The world needs more empaths leading the way, and I am seeing more and more empaths stretching their abilities and flexing their leadership muscles. This makes me feel optimistic and hopeful!

A focused empath is an empowered leader.

Great leaders are people who create paths, who blaze trails, who can be counted on to stay the course, who can be trusted to care deeply about the people who are following them.

What’s amazing about focused empaths is that they don’t have to try to be a great leader. They simply ARE.

Are you an empath? If so, does this line of thinking resonate with you? I’d love to explore this topic and learn more about you.

In amazement and awe,

Happy D!



2 thoughts on “Performance Coaching for Empaths in Leadership and at Work

  1. I am an empath. I’ve been coached by Debbie Happy Cohen. My “achievements” after being coached by her have significantly increased in the most meaningful areas of my life. No one I know has a better handle on coaching than Debbie… and if you’re wondering how to most profoundly enhance your personal and/or professional life, I’d say you would do well to give her an opportunity to “do her thing” with you.

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