The Importance Of Empathy

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Managers in organizations have traditionally viewed empathy with suspicion, thinking that there is no place for soft emotional skills in the tough world of business. Literature has shown that managers worry that employees will take advantage of them if they show any empathy. But changing times and recognition of the strategic advantages of taking employees feelings into consideration has lead to social consciousness being regarded as a critical skill for effective managers. This has even impacted the training given to doctors. Today doctors are trained to formulate a bio-psycho-social understanding of the problem rather than treating patients purely as a diagnosis. Empathizing with someone - understanding their point of view - doesn’t mean…show more content…
It is important to social awareness due to the link between self and others; it is how we as individuals understand what others are experiencing as if we were feeling it ourselves. Chamber English Dictionary also defines “Empathy as an awareness of others’ feelings, needs and concerns.” In Mahatma Gandhi view, empathy is intuitive, but is also something you can work on, intellectually. Daniel Goleman, author of the book Emotional Intelligence, says that empathy is basically the ability to understand others’ emotions. He also, however, notes that at a deeper level, it is about defining, understanding, and reacting to the concerns and needs that underlie others’ emotional responses and reactions. As Tim Minchin noted, empathy is a skill that can be developed and, as with most interpersonal skills, empathizing (at some level) comes naturally to most people. Mother Teresa (1910-1997) told us that empathy has to start with us. She said, do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person. Empathy is the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feeling, thoughts and experience of another either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner (Merriam Webster…show more content…
He highlights understanding others as the first and perhaps what most people understand by ‘empathy’: in Coleman’s words, “sensing others’ feelings and perspectives, and taking an active interest in their concerns”. Those who do this: tune into emotional cues. They listen well, and also pay attention to non-verbal communication, picking up subtle cues almost subconsciously. Show sensitivity, and understand others’ perspectives, are able to help other people based on their understanding of those people’s needs and feelings. All these are skills which can be developed, but only if you wish to do so. Some people may switch off their emotional antennae to avoid being swamped by the feelings of others. Secondly, Coleman talks about developing others - developing others means acting on their needs and concerns, and helping them to develop to their full potential. People with skills is this area usually reward and praise people for their strengths and accomplishments, and provide constructive feedback designed to focus on how to improve, provide mentoring and coaching to help others to develop to their full potential. They also provide stretching assignments that will help their teams to develop. Thirdly, Goleman looks at having a service orientation, primarily aimed at work situations, having a service orientation means putting the needs of customers first and looking for ways to improve their satisfaction and loyalty. People who

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