Empathy In Employee-Customer Encounters

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Looking at the way service frontline employees experience empathy in their employee-customer encounter, we establish that both cognitive and affective processes are key aspects. The academic concepts that are common in the literature also appear in the language used by the service front line employees, who engage in their employee-customer encounter interactions in taking the other's perspective, sharing his or her feelings, and experiencing those reactions from others as well. As for the query whether the service frontline employees experience empathy in their employee-customer encounter are experienced as two separate and independent phenomena, in correspondence with Duan, and Hill (1996. claim, or as aspects that are included into a complex…show more content…
This can be explained in more than a few ways. There might be a wide-ranging complexity in verbal expression of emotions compared to cognitive processes, because of the emphasis the culture places on logical, rational thinking and communicating. This is also correlated to the limits of our language: affective empathy can live in a nonverbal eloquent of the other, which means there is no language that denotes it. In the words of one service front employee: “It is a gloomy part of the spirit. It's not sane”. It resides in a position that is hard for me to describe.” This nonverbal experience might be conceptualized in terms of corroboration where one needs another for acknowledgment and the experience of being real (Josselson, and Lieblich,…show more content…
The most obvious one is the difference between the concept of understanding and that of empathy. Because of the uncertainty of the concept of empathy, and its relative distance from everyday language, we chose to use the word understanding. We phrased the questions in a way that was designed to direct the service front line employees to a deep and meaningful understanding and to enable them to express emotions. But however, it might be that the use of this word led the service front line employees to a more cognitive-intellectual orientation, and less to empathic emotions. On the other hand, most service front line employees did refer to emotional aspects. In addition, asking people about their experience of understanding has led some to talk about experiences that have been conceptualized in the literature as sympathy, personal distress, or projection (Eisenberg, and Strayer, 1987).. This represents the complexity in fitting our phenomenological findings into the current discourse of empathy research, which makes conceptual distinctions that may not be made experientially. This effort represents an effort to bring the theory in line with the phenomenology of the experience of
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