Defining empathy skills in practice – Carl Rogers and unconditional regard

Empathy as a social emotion is a vital component, an important and useful skill, in many social situations. It is the factor that improves relationships of all kinds, between parents and children, between lovers, between managers and their people, between team members at work or on the sports field.

Psychologist Carl Rogers, in his various writings, points out that the value of empathy in relationships works in the context of two other factors and should be understood in the context of the three factors together. The factors, which Rogers calls the “attitudinal elements making for growth”, are, besides empathy, congruence (also called realness) and caring (also called unconditional positive regard).

Tony McGregor