[semester equivalent = 3.33 credits]



Julie Bora



Our emotions govern us! Yes, that's right and the number one challenge we have as social animals is understanding other people. In this course for everyone, we will explore Stephen Covey's perennial classic: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, with a focused eye on the most important skill we need in life, listening: Seek First to Understand, Then To Be Understood : Habit #5. As you continue to shift your self love outwards to connect with others, you will notice the powerful influence of empathy on all aspects of your life. Begin today and be one day ahead than when you start tomorrow. Jump in! This course is a companion course to Check for Understanding.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

  1. Become more aware of how we listen in general and in our own personal style specifically.
  2. Learned how to build Emotional Bank Accounts that create psychological air.
  3. Intentionally practiced shifting their listening skills to create a depth of connection with others by focusing with intent to seek first to understand.
  4. Practiced a listening awareness to free conversations of Autobiographical Responses.
  5. Shared learning concerning the most important life skill, Empathic Communication.

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit.  The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit. 


Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participant’s their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), or Washington State Clock Hours or Oregon PDUs. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours and Oregon PDUs.



Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%


CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering determine with your district personnel, department head or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.



  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People ISBN 0743269519 Available from for $10 new or $5 used, plus shipping.
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People- Personal Workbook  Available from for $11 new or $6 used, plus shipping.

  • Who Moved My Cheese, Eat That Frog, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People 3 Books Collection Set
    ISBN# 9123877197
    by Dr Spencer Johnson, Brian Tracy, Stephen R. Covey, Who Moved My Cheese by Dr Spencer Johnson, 978-0091816971, 0091816971, 9780091816971, Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy, 978-1626569416, 162656941X, 9781626569416, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey, 978-1451639612, 1451639619, 9781451639612

    Buy from Amazon
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Personal Workbook
    ISBN# 0743250974
    by Stephen R. Covey
    Simon & Schuster

    Buy from Amazon


Texts: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People- Personal Workbook are available for approximately $6 used from



Assignment #1: Introduction: Principles of Empathic Communication.

Go to Listen to the talk by Celeste Headlee: 10 Ways to have a Better Conversation (Feb.2016)
In the text begin to read Chapter 5. Stop when you reach the header: Diagnose Before You Prescribe.
Take a second look: “listening” at the four levels.
In a 1-2 page personal story, relate your current listening capacities, capabilities and tendencies to ideas and insights from the TED talk and your reading.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Empathic #1.’             

Assignment #2: Emotional Bank Accounts.

In the text read Part Three Public Victory. Focus on Building Emotional Bank Accounts.
To deepen your understanding complete the corresponding pages on building an emotional bank account in the Personal Workbook.
In a 1-2 page paper describe how to share the concept of Emotional Bank Accounts with learners, colleagues, or family members.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Empathic #2.’             

Assignment #3: Seek First to Understand.

In our conversations we are all eager to share our stories, our opinions, our ideas, our advice. Most of us enter a conversation looking for talk points. We really are not listening; we simply are waiting for a pause so that we can reply. In the end the other person quite often feels misunderstood or worse yet, controlled or manipulated. As we practice empathic listening, we can offer something more. Change your listening habit. Turn your sensitivity from inward to outward.

Read Habit 5 up to the part on Autobiographical responses.
Go to link on Amazon:
Scroll down and listen to the video by Author Charles Duhigg on The Power of Habit.

Observe and collect in a journal, conversations where you are not really listening.
Try to find a pattern.
Use your observations to try out cues to change your habit.
In a 1-2 page paper describe your experience and observations.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Empathic #3.’             

Assignment #4: Autobiographical Responses.

When a person’s response is emotional then it is an opportunity to practice listening to first understand. Remind yourself that such listening is the most important skill in your life; it will create a depth of connection to the people you are with. By making and keeping small commitments to yourself related to Habit #5 you will change your behavior so that you may influence others and they may influence you!
Read: Diagnose Before You Prescribe (Ch.5)  Stop before header: Then Seek To Be Understood.
Create an easy to reference annotated 2-column table: Column 1) the 4 autobiographical responses and Column 2) their features.
Identify the one (1) autobiographical response you respond from most often. Ask yourself why, why do I respond that way? Maybe you ask yourself this question many times before an honest answer emerges.
Now go to a quiet place and consider how to lay a foundation in your mind, in your self talk, in your life, to eliminate through deliberate practice your tendency to respond with that autobiographical response. You will be stepping outside your comfort zone to improve and it will take effort to learn to put aside your own autobiography but this switch is mind blowing!
After practicing for many days, write a 1-2 page report, to be presented to an audience of your choice, on your process and its outcomes.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Empathic #4.’            

Assignment #5: Seeking to be Understood.

As teachers we make presentations every day. Seeking to be understood asks us to be courageous.
Take yourself on an Internet Explore concerning Early Greek Philosophy embodied in Ethos (your character), Pathos (your relationships) and Logos (logic), in that order.
Read: Finish Chapter 5.
Now reread Then Seek To Be Understood.
In a 1-2 page summary, talk about your presentation style and how you might go about making modifications based on your new learning and how it will keep the mood good.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Empathic #5.’

Assignment #6: Better Listening.

Watch: How to Speak so that People Will Listen: Julian Treasure.
Watch: 5 Ways To Listen Better: TED Talk by Julian Treasure | Soft Skills Studio      
In a 1-2 page paper write about new learning from this assignment. How and where might conscious listening find a prominent place in your conversations, in and out of school?
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Empathic #6.’             



Assignment #7: Tune Into Body Language.

Listening and interpreting a person's message is much more than hearing what a person says. Before the talkies movie goers had ample opportunity to focus on this second language which we now call Body Language.
1. Please Watch an unfamiliar video, TV show, or movie without sound until you come upon a scene that provides the opportunity to observe two people in conversation. Focus on observing their body language, those non-verbal cues such as facial expressions, eye contact, posture, breathing and gestures. First focus on the face. Then notice whether or not arms and legs are crossed and in which direction the feet are pointed.  Look for patterns. Be relaxed and open to what you see. Where are their hands; are they moving? Do men use different expressions from women?  What kind of non-verbal cultural cues do you observe?  Postpone any interpretation; simply write down your observations. See if you can observe the emotional state and true intentions of each individual that might not come across in words alone.
2. Now watch the same scene with sound.  Take notes as you listen for: tone of voice, their mood, the purpose of the communication, its main points, how each point is illustrated or applied, how it is valued and how each point is validated or invalidated,
3. Interpret the communication: What did the facial expressions, gestures and posturing, the non-verbal cues, reveal about the true intentions and emotions of the people? Did the body language support their words? What impact did the tone of voice have on the communication? Did the people reach mutual understanding? Did speaking improve communication?
In a 1-2 page report, use your observations as a story to relate how any new learning concerning body language might be useful in your communication with those in your learning environment.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Empathic #7.’



In this section you will apply your learning to your professional situation.  This course assumes that most participants are classroom teachers who have access to students.  If you are not teaching in a classroom, please contact the instructor for course modifications.  If you are a classroom teacher and start or need to complete this course during the summer, please try to apply your ideas when possible with youth from your neighborhood, at a local public library or parks department facility,  (they will often be glad to sponsor community-based learning), or with students in another teacher’s summer classroom in session.

Assignment #8: School Listening Climate!

How well does your school promote an empathic listening climate? What suggestions might you offer to encourage interest in the other through more focused listening?
As a start design a poster, banner or billboard as an anchor point for Empathic Listening. 
Place your poster in a place of prominence so that it may support the effort of others in their practice to become better listeners, for example, use fewer autobiographical responses, modulate tone of voice to set the mood, how to pay attention to body language.
Send a photo of your product at its site, online or in school.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Empathic #8.’

Assignment #9: Develop A Lesson.

Complete one (1) of the following assignment options:
Assignment #8A: (SEND commentary to Instructor)
Develop a lesson to reflect what you’ve learned in this course.
Implement your lesson with students in your classroom.
Write a 2 page commentary on what worked well and what could be improved. Include any student feedback on your lesson.
Send to instructor:, Subject to read ‘Empathic #9A.’
Assignment #8B:  Use this option if you do not have a classroom available. (SEND lesson and summary to Instructor)
Develop a lesson to reflect what you’ve learned in this course. (Do not implement it.)
Write a 2 page summary concerning any noteworthy success you’ve had as a teacher with one or more students.
Send to instructor:, Subject to read ‘Empathic #9B.’

Assignment #10: (500 Level ONLY)

In addition to the 400 level assignments, complete one (1) of the following assignment options:
Option A)  From Self-Centered to Centered in the Self.

Select any other habit and read its chapter.

In a 1-2 page paper, describe how you might adapt learning from your reading for your classroom or professional setting. (See Guidelines on page 115.)
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Empathic #9A.’        
Option B)  Synergize with Another of the 7 Habits!   
Covey says we can teach all 7 Habits by starting with any one. He also states that teaching one habit leads to the teaching of the other six. It’s like a hologram where the whole is contained in the part and the part is contained in the whole. What other habit would you like to connect to Habit 5?
Go to YouTube and watch these clips:
Covey Habit 5
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey- Animated Book Review.
Design a lesson. In 1-2 pages describe how you might introduce the two connected habits to an identified audience of your choosing.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Empathic #9B.’


Assignment #11: (Required for 400 and 500 Level)

(Please do not write this paper until you've completed all of your other assignments)

  1. What did you learn vs. what you expected to learn from this course?
  2. What aspects of the course were most helpful and why?
  3. What further knowledge and skills in this general area do you feel you need?
  4. How, when and where will you use what you have learned?
  5. How and with what other school or community members might you share what you learned?

Send to your instructor at their email address. Subject line to read  "(put course name here) Integration Paper"


Please indicate by email to the instructor if you would like to receive comments on your assignments.


Julie Bora, M.S.T.  B.S. Biology/Pharmacology   *    M.S.T. Elementary Education - Pre-K, Kindergarten and Grades 1- 6 .

As a practitioner of light touch supervision,  I promote an artistic spirit, one that grabs from experiences, suggestions, observations, questions, relationships, the ones that fit you most.

An artistic spirit will guide you to do the thing your own way while listening to your intuition, your creative force, and sometimes with a nudge and support from someone else.

So go ahead, choose an adventure that commands your thoughts and liberates your energy.

Are you ready to try something new, now? Come on, jump in and let the magic happen.





Cantor, Lee, Classroom Management for Academic Success, Solution Tree: Bloomington, IN.  2006. In this classroom management guide, Cantor puts active listening skills that build trusting relationships into an educational context. By using many examples he explains in a detailed and logical way how teachers may change habitual listening responses to promote appropriate responsible classroom behaviors. This book flows well and is user friendly.

Carnegie, Dale, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Pocket Books: New York, NY.  1998. The other side of the listening equation is speaking. With anecdotes of historical figures, leaders of the business world, and everyday people, Carnegie illustrates fundamental principles for dealing with people so that they feel appreciated and validated. Though written many years ago, this is an awesome book that is still relevant today.

Clayton, Marlynn K., Classroom Spaces That Work, Bantam Books: New York, NY. 2005. ISBN-13: 978-1892989055.  Physical environment matters: how it looks, how it feels. If you would like a helping hand with interior design issues which facilitate communication and reflection then this book is a supportive resource.

Covey, Sean, The 7 Habits of Happy Kids, Simon & Schuster: New York, NY.  2008. Sean Covey has interpreted his father’s work for the Pre-K-3 crowd via the animal inhabitants of 7 Oaks. Through the stories children learn how to build desirable character traits and be proactive by solving problems through responsible planning.

Covey, Sean, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, Fireside: New York, NY.  1998. Using real life stories, Sean applies the same principles from his father’s book to discuss good habits of Middle and High School students. Sean emphasizes that a teen must be a good listener in order to influence people. I would not recommend this book as required reading for teens but rather as a guide on how to be a better listener by practicing avoidance of autobiographical responses.

Covey, Stephen, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Free Press: New York, NY.  2004. A classic. The text for this course.

Duhigg, Charles, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, Random House: New York, NY.  2014. 371 pages. ISBN-13: 978-0812981605. Imagine that you have a habit that you really want to change. Learn how habits work; they all work the same way: Cue-Routine-Reward. Find out what reward you are actually craving and change your behavior in whatever way you want. In our case for this course we want to consider cues that trigger us to respond autobiographically.

Goleman, Daniel, Emotional Intelligence, Bantam Books: New York, NY. 2005. Learn about the 5 crucial skills of emotional intelligence and how to incorporate them as you become a better listener. Emotions play a much larger role in listening and offering constructive feedback than what most of us imagine.

Headlee, Celeste, Heard Mentality: An A-Z Guide to Take Your Podcast or Radio Show from Idea to Hit, CreateSpace, 2016. ISBN-13: 978-1523915651. Part of the title of this book, the description after the colon, may be misleading. In fact we teachers are hosts every day and our students and colleagues are sometimes our audience.  Headlee writes that finding a good host is not as simple as finding a smart person who can talk.  Finding the right host is even more challenging and it can depend on what’s being hosted. By skimming through this engaging book we learn how to be a better hosts for our learners.

Kriete, Roxann & Davis, Carol, The Morning Meeting Book, 3rd edition, Center for Responsive Schools, Inc.; 3rd edition, 2014. 232 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1892989604. The ultimate guide to class meetings whenever and wherever they arise. Continue creating that sense of community in your learning environment with this guide on adapting meeting components for different ages and abilities, including upper grades and English Language Learners. You may also desire to learn more about core competencies by the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL).

Rifkin, Jeremy, The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis, Penguin: New York, NY. 2009. ISBN 978-1-58542-765-9. Researched for over 4 years by 25 people and Rifkin, this book is a comprehensive and mind altering read.

Selby, John, Listening With Empathy, Hampton Roads Publishing (January 30, 2007). 240 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1571745149. Moods play a daily role in our ability to understand one another. Selby presents his 4-step Listening With Empathy Mood-Management Method.

Szalavitz, Maia & Perry, Bruce D., The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, Basic Books; 3 edition (August 29, 2017). 448 pages. ISBN-13: 978-0465094455.  Explore empathy and its connection to human evolution.  Perry shows how simple things like surroundings, affection, language, and touch can deeply impact the developing brain, for better or for worse. Dr. Bruce Perry is a leading expert in the neuroscience of child trauma and recovery.

Van Den Brink, Margreet, More Precious Than Light, Hawthorne Press: Hawthorne, NJ. 1996. Learn how dialogues can transform relationships and build community; immerse yourself with insights and practice in true encounters fostered through dialogue.