Empathy – Activity 1

Recognize Responds

Activity type:
Cognitive method

Learning goals:
This exercise can help participants to learn about the different ways they can respond to a person in need of support, and why empathy is usually a good way to assist other people in overcoming their difficulties.

Individual or group activity, but shall be implemented in groups for the reflection part. The learners can go through the activity alone or in groups of 2 persons and then come back in one group to reflect upon their experience over the activity.

45 minutes

Material needed:
“The list with responses” & Dialogues
(available online, link to drag and drop activity).


There is a list of different types of responses that are common during interactions. Read each dialogue between A and B and decide what type of response B uses. Connect each type of response to each of the following “short dialogues” between user A and B.

Click here to open the exercise

This exercise has been inspired by the Bingo Exercise of Sherri Sorro
(source: Sherri Sorro- AVP/ The transformer: http://thetransformer.us/08-3.pdf)

Questions for reflection:

(After having finished the matching exercise participants get in groups for further reflections upon their choses) Also for the trainees

  • Which of the response style is most appropriate in a counselling session?
  • Which is/are not appropriate and a counsellor should avoid?
  • What role might empathy play in your workplace, classroom and community?
  • How has this activity impacted you?