Bob Pointer - CFIL Global
EMPATHY IN BUSINESS
“People often confuse the words empathy and sympathy. Empathy means the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, whereas sympathy means ‘feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune” Oxford Dictionaries @ Oxforddictionaries.com
Gaining empathy in our communication with others is essential – or so we are told. But in normal business interactions is it viable? I suppose that all depends what you perceive as an empathetic relationship.
In formal encounters like business meetings we are told we should try to build rapport and be empathetic. But often we get so caught up in our own role in the process that we simply do not have enough capacity to relate at an emotion level with the other participants.
According to Feshbach and Kukenbecker (1974), empathy has 3 essential parts,
So, in the terms of formal business interactions, my contention is that the role of empathy has to be considered carefully. Empathy is not easy achievable - but an understanding of the commonality that exists between both parties can be conveyed and understood. Mutual understanding of the others position and a respect for them as a human being and equal is more achievable and in my opinion right for the situation.
I shall be making a short presentation to CAP meetings in the near future based on this blog entitled ALF – Always listen first.
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