empathy triad – Daniel Goleman’s new book

Daniel Goleman’s new book, Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence, takes the idea even further. Understanding his “Empathy Triad” may help you become not only a better persuader but maybe even a better person as well.

Goleman’s empathy triad comprises three forms of attention: cognitive empathy, emotional empathy, and empathetic caring.


Cognitive empathy is the closest to what I call outside-in thinking. Essentially, it’s paying attention to the other person’s thought processes and emotions, of knowing what they’re thinking and feeling, and being able to incorporate that into your persuasive approach. Another term for it is perspective taking, which is the ability to see the situation from the point of view of another person. It’s a skill that may be unique to humans, and begins to develop around the time we are three years old and ends only when we attain positions of power.