Carkhuff — Seven Skills Summary

Compare with Rogers

Empathy Understanding
The ability to understand another person’s state, condition, frame of reference or point-of-view
The Helpee believes “you are in my skin.”
The Helper strives for an accurate sense of the other’s experience”joining” note: before empathizing with the assumed reality on the other side; check first, then provide honest “moccasin” feeling.
Respect Caring for Someone
Responding in a way that conveys caring for the other
Responding in a way that conveys a belief in their capacity to do something about their situation
Concreteness Being Specific
Moving from abstractions to specifics
The more concrete one is the more likely they are to connect with their experience
Genuineness Being Real
The Helper is being at home with themselves, here and now
The Helper comes into direct personal encounter with the Helpee and responds authentically
The Helper reports out their internal states [similar to “openness vs. personalness”, relates to the context of the exchange, not content]
Immediacy What’s happening now?
Helper’s ability to discuss with the Helpee what’s going on between them
Helper’s ability to discuss with the Helpee where s/he stands in relationship to Helpee
Confrontation Telling it like it is
Pointing out incongruent; discrepancy between worlds, feelings and actions
An invitation to examine the behavior and change it if necessary
Self-Disclosure Volunteering personal information
Helper communicates an openness to volunteering personal information in accord with the Helpee’s interest and concerns


Start: Joining with the other

  • Empathy
  • Respect
  • Concreteness

Later: Initiating (Joining has started)

  • Genuineness
  • Immediacy
  • Confrontation
  • Self-Disclosure


Primary Goals sits at the intersection of three core ideas about communication:
  • Leaders create vision by communicating a compelling future to their teams.
  • Teams create success based on how effectively the communicate and coordinate with each other.
  • Entrepreneurial ventures are successful only when they communicate value to people with a concern that the business can take care of
In all cases, it’s about Conversations for Committed Results.  That’s our Primary Goal.  



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