IG Coaching Network Talk: Willem Kuipers on Empathy vs. Task Orientation – Recording now available

Gifted Results or Gifted Relations, Which Do You Prefer? 

With: Willem Kuipers
When: May 31st, 2016 at 6.00pm Central European Time
Find the talk handout here.

Willem Kuipers, coach and author of Enjoying the Gift of Being Uncommon, has coined a very helpful lingo to describe a version of giftedness which relies on self-awareness rather than test results. It is a language which is empowering for gifted people learning about their minds. It is about being “Xi”: eXtra Intelligent or eXtra Intense. The ”X” indicates the uncommon high dose of that characteristic in the target group. Among other things, Xi individuals tend to express extra empathy (“Xe” in Willem’s lingo) and extra task-orientation (“Xt”), compared to what is common.

All individuals, gifted or not, seem to show a natural preference toward either empathy (interpersonal cooperation first) or for task-orientation (intended results first). And it is helpful for each of us to know which of the two we naturally prefer, as it gives insight into how we function best, and how we can best communicate with others. In the context of a gifted person’s intensity and complexity, it is especially helpful to understand our (already extra) preferences, as well as how they can, given certain life circumstances, become unbalanced. Extreme empathy (“XXe”) or extreme task-orientation (“XXt”) are unbalanced versions of preferences, and are seen in our experience of their unpleasant side-effects, namely unhealthy perfectionism and sometimes high levels of impatience in relational contexts.

In Willem’s Coaching Network Talk, he helped us evaluate our own orientations, consider where we might have gotten out of balance, and find ways to keep out of the extremes. This included looking at what happens when an Xt is parented by an Xe, or vice versa. Thus, Willem’s talk was very valuable for gifted individuals, as well as gifted parents and parents of gifted children.


Preparation For The Talk 


Prior to watching Willem’s talk, it will be very helpful to read up on Willem’s conceptualization of Xi and how it relates to giftedness. The following pages on Willem’s site will provide the necessary background for his talk:


Participants also took the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI-UK), which is a 28-question self-test that helps you evaluate how, and to what extent (low-high) you are empathic.

You can learn more about Willem’s work as a coach at Ximension and be sure to check out Willem’s Book on Xi, Enjoying the Gift of Being Uncommon. If you’d like to be coached by Willem, send us an email at coaching@intergifted.com.


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