Values of COE

Some Core Values of a Culture of Empathy
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The Empathy Circle fits into a larger vision of a Culture of Empathy. That is the vision and dream of building a culture based on mutual empathy between all people of the world, as well as humans and nature.

The Empathy Circle is a wonderful first step practice and process to help build a Culture of Empathy with your friends, family, community, work, schools, etc.

Below, is an initial list of values that make up this culture. This is a work in progress. It is an ongoing quest to explore, articulate and express those values and the principles that flow from them.


Empathy is at the core of a culture of empathy. It is a sensing into another persons experience, felt meanings and thoughts. It is accompanying others on their inner experiencing. Self-empathy is sensing into ones own experience, feelings and thoughts. There are different definitions of empathy in academia and society. The one we use is based on the work of Carl Rogers.

This is the willingness to be reciprocal in the expression of all the other values of a Culture of Empathy (e.g. empathy, openness, care, etc.). We value the needs of all people, not ignoring or discarding anyone. So we strive for a culture of mutual empathy, mutual openness, mutual care, etc.

  • In the Empathy Circle we mutually share, listen to and empathize with each other. It is not a one direction listening but mutual sharing, listening and empathy.

To hear, take in and receive what others say and to be aware, hear, take in and receive our own feelings and self. This includes a willingness to share our own thinking and feelings and being receptive to the feelings and thinking of others.

  • The more open, authentic, honest, revealing and transparent we can be, the deeper we can empathize with each other.

  • In the Empathy Circle - the more open we are, the deeper the empathic connection can be. Knowing we will be listened to nurtures trust which makes participants be more open.

Care is the desire to see the wellbeing of all. Seeing everyone's common humanity and having sense of warmth for their humanity

  • In the Empathy Circle - the very act of fulling listening to someone shows care. This care deepen over time as we more deeply understand and connect with each other.

Curiosity about others and what is important to them.

    • In the Empathy Circle - participants desire to learn or know about others can fuel empathy.

Inclusion recognizes the richness of diversity and takes action to include that diversity.

    • In the Empathy Circle - everyone is welcome if they are willing to follow the process. Everyone can participate and can say what they want. They can express whatever feelings that are alive for them. All these feelings are heard and empathized with to the speakers satisfaction.

Seeing everyone's humanity.

  • In the Empathy Circle - there is no ridged hierarchy, everyone participates as a person, not as a role (boss/employee, parent/child, etc.) and is given a space to be heard to their satisfaction.

And More

Principles of A Culture of Empathy

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Foundational Principles of Culture of Empathy

Definition of Principle:

  • a rule of conduct based on our values.

  • a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning.


1. We are willing to have an empathic dialogue with all people.

- We want to expand scope of our human connections to include all of humanity (not limit it).

- Underlying Values: Mutual Empathy, Openness, Common Humanity.

2. We strive to keep increasing the circle of our empathic dialogue and connection with an ever wider variety of people.

- We strive to expand connections and get out of a bubble. (i.e. not be a narrow ingroup).

- We want to actively reach out to all of humanity.

- Underlying Values: Mutual Empathy, Openness, Inclusion, Common Humanity.

3. Addressing Conflict. If there is conflict in our community or between others, we are willing to have a mutually empathic dialogue to work it out. That is to take part in an Empathy Circle, Restorative Empathy Circle, etc.

- Underlying Values: Mutual Empathy, Openness, Presence, Collaboration, Healing, Common Humanity.

4. We are willing to take the first step in being empathic with the intention of creating a Culture of Empathy.

- Underlying Values: Mutual Empathy, Presence, Collaboration, Common Humanity.

5. We strive to spread the values and principles of a Culture of Empathy

- Underlying Values: Common Humanity,