Culture of Empathy Builder: Kelly Bryson

Kelly Bryson, MA, MFT is the author of the best selling book, Don’t Be Nice, Be Real – Balancing Passion for Self with Compassion for Others. He is a licensed therapist in private practice, lecturer, workshop facilitator, and consultant. He has been an authorized trainer for the International Center for Nonviolent Communication for over 20 years, and has trained thousands in the US, Europe, and the Middle East. Kelly is also a humorist, guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He in now working on building new authentic empathy communities & cultures.


Kelly writes, “When I empathize with someone, I become a strong and gentle wind, filling the sailboat of the other’s inner exploration.  As the Wind, I have no control over the steering of the boat.  That is left up to the captain of the ship, the person I am being present to.  I do not try to direct, only connect with where the other is in this very present moment.  I bring in no ideas of thoughts about the past or the future.  I bring in no thoughts of my own.  I have no preference for where we go on this journey – only that it come from the captain’s heart and choice.  The purpose of my presence is connection, never correction.  I am a steady, present trade wind, not an impatient and gusty gale.”

 When I empathize with