Defining Empathy Two skills needed for empathy Questions to think about Empathic listening techniques Power of reflective listening Why do we use empathic listening? Barriers to empathic listening
Empathy is the skill of reflecting back to another person the emotions he or she is expressing so that he or she feels heard and understood. Empathy involves listening to others, understanding them, and communicating this understanding to them. – Egan 1994 Empathy is the capacity to recognize and, to some extent, share feelings that are being experienced by another. –Rogers 1959
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QG11gmv 0p9s This video is a different look at empathy…and possibly an important one….especially if you deal with other people on a daily basis… ◦ By: John Marshall Roberts (Empathy Expert)
To perceive and be aware of anothers situation while taking into account another’s point of view (ex: putting yourself in their shoes). Using both verbal (words) and nonverbal (actions, physical cues) ways of communicating helps you be perceptive to others thoughts and feelings.
Am I compassionate enough to care about understand the other persons’ feelings? Can I put myself in the other persons’ shoes so completely that I do not criticize or judge them? Can I let myself enter in to the others’ feelings and personal meanings to see these the way they do? Practicing empathy daily can help with any of the above questions you answered no to.
Verbal and Non-Verbal Encouragers- these communicate to the person that: I am listening (ex: eye contact, nodding of the head, smiling) I want to listen (ex: you are not checking your watch ever 5 minutes or rolling your eyes, sighing, etc) I want to understand more about your experience (ex: asking related and relevant questions to collect more information…such as “can you tell me more about that” or “I am curious about…”)
Reflective Listening can be a powerful tool of communication. In reflective listening, you simply reflect to the other person what you think you heard, making sure you reflect their feelings. ◦ For example: Sally: I really don’t want to work anymore. I like being home spending time with my children. Reflection: So what I am hearing you say is that you like, and prefer being home with your children rather than working. Using reflective listening allows the other person to feel as though you have listened to what they have said and is clear that you understood them.
Video 1 ◦ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viuFhVd9Okw&f eature=relmfu Video 2 ◦ The conclusion…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIUCdfhoofQ&fe ature=relmfu
To show an interest in the other person To support another in their attempts to rectify a situation Empathic listening is therapeutic in itself It leads to an increase in another’s satisfaction of you To discover another’s needs and concerns
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrTwCB1H SEM Click on the above link to watch the video on controlled empathy and trauma.
Cultural Differences Gender Not viewing the other individual as an equal Your preconceived ideas and beliefs Your uncomfortableness with another’s emotions
Being empathic is something that may not come natural to all people. Practicing the techniques mentioned (reflective listening, encouragers) can help you become more empathic. Non-verbal communications and gestures play a key role in whether others believe you are there to help or hinder (hurt) the situation.
More information and links on empathy… ◦ http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type =doc&id=37708&cn=298 ◦ http://www.eqi.org/empathy.htm ◦ http://psychology.wikia.com/wiki/Empathy