Project Management

Part 2 - Empathy when Eliciting User Knowledge

On June 15, 2023, a PMI Webinar was conducted where Lynda Carter and Dave Davis discussed “Empathy when Eliciting User Knowledge”.   The discussion / interaction was tremendous and there were more comments and questions than the leaders could answer.  Well, we listened to you and have now prepared a webinar to answer most of those questions and continue the dialog.  The webinar will again feature Lynda and Dave sharing real world learning on the importance of Empathy in elicitation and how it can improve your professional skill set.  The original webinar is available to PMI members at:

Extracting knowledge from various workers is a key competency required for the current project professional.  Whether it involves product requirements, user acceptance criteria, creating the definition of done, determining value of stories in a backlog, or obtaining executive critical success factors, the project professional delivers many artifacts that depend on input from various knowledge workers scattered throughout the organization.

This session will focus on the approach the project professional must take to have effective elicitation sessions.  You must approach it from the knowledge worker perspective and be able to establish an environment of trust and psychological safety.  We will discuss the importance of humility and that you are eliciting information. We will discuss the importance of seeing that environment to facilitate active listening and interactive engagement.  We will take a holistic approach to the elicitation including setting expectations, eliciting information, and providing feedback.  Finally, we will explore the impact that cultural intelligence is a factor in the overall elicitation and feedback.

Learning Objectives:

  1. The importance of utilizing several components of human relationships including humility, empathy, respect, and gratitude.
  2. Articulate the entire cycle of eliciting information from initial contact to knowledge exchange engagement, to paraphrase understanding, to follow-up.
  3. Use Cultural Intelligence techniques to understand how knowledge extraction techniques must align with the culture of the knowledge workers.

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