An empathy map is a collaborative tool teams can use to gain a deeper insight into their customers.
However, it could also be used by a Scrum Master as a way of putting themselves in someone else’s shoes.
The map helps devise stronger strategies for engaging with such groups.

The map radiates out from the image of persona.

At the top of the head are questions like ‘what does he think and feel”.
This is where we attempt to describe what he has in mind. There is a matter really important that he does not want to disclose.
What could be his motivations and emotions? What are his concerns or what makes him anxious? And what about his aspirations?

The area on the left answers the questions “what does he really hear?”.
What are his colleagues and co-workers saying?
What rumours are reaching him? And by which means?

On the right, it is more about what he is seeing. It describes what he observes in his environment.

The lower area is about what he says and does. It is about words and actions. What he could be telling others?

Two additional sections could be about pains and gains.

What are the biggest frustrations, what are the perceived obstacles which prevent him to reach his goal? What does he truly want or need to achieve?

The tool is originally a method for stakeholder analysis, but it could obviously be used by a new Agile coach to perceive the team or your environment, like the management.

As a coach, it could also be used with your coachee, and provide a means to question himself on what is actually felt and thus maybe discover some limiting beliefs.

It could also be used collaboratively, in that case you could start by giving the group an individual persona.

Refer to the diagram and draft this face and sectors on to a flipchart or whiteboard.

Build a profile with your team for persona/stakeholder using the questions.

Next time, I will touch on other possibilities to “profile” your team members and provide some techniques to help them achieve their goals.
Techniques like “process com” or Schwartz’s values theory.

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