Word Of the Week #529: Empathy

September 25, 2014 by · Comments Off on Word Of the Week #529: Empathy 

Empathy understanding and identifying with another person’s situation, feelings, thoughts, etc.

Is it easy or hard for you to show emotion? How good are you at recognizing emotions in others? Did you know that the 90% or more of an emotional message is nonverbal?

In Daniel Goleman’s book on Emotional Intelligence he identifies 5 key qualities needed. I have covered 3 of them in several of the past WOW’s. They are self-awareness, self-management and self-motivation. Today I will cover the 4th and that is the ability to recognize emotions in others.

He writes, “Empathy builds on self-awareness; the more open we are to our own emotions, the more skilled we will be in a empathyreading feelings. People who have no idea what they feel themselves, are at a complete loss when it comes to knowing what anyone else around them is feeling. For all rapport, the root of caring, stems from emotional attunement, from the capacity for empathy.

The key to intuiting another’s feelings is in the ability to read nonverbal channels: tone of voice, gesture, facial expression, and the like. In tests with over 7,000 people the benefits of being able to read feelings from nonverbal cues included being better adjusted emotionally, more popular, more outgoing, and – perhaps not surprisingly – more sensitive. In general, women are better than men at this kind of empathy.

The roots of morality are to be found in empathy, since it is empathizing with – someone in pain, danger, or deprivation, say – and so sharing their distress that moves people to act to help them. By putting oneself in another’s place, leads people to follow certain moral principles.

This week’s focus is on empathy. Would you like to be more popular? How comfortable are you with showing your emotions? How good are you at reading other people’s feelings? How about identifying with another person’s situation?

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Word Of the Week #20: Empathy

April 20, 2009 by · Comments Off on Word Of the Week #20: Empathy 

Empathy: the capacity for experiencing another persons feelings.

Last weeks WOW was about the importance of apologizing. Did an opportunity arise to correct a complaint? Was your apology sincere?

Making Amends

Making Amends

When you can put yourself in another person’s situation and feel what they are feeling, it’s very easy to have empathy.

Do you remember when Nancy Kerrigan, the ice skater, was attacked? Tonya Harding’s bodyguard stepped forward and admitted that he had hired someone to do it. But not until he had seen Nancy on TV, was when he experienced remorse and turned himself in.

They say the roots of morality lie in empathy. When you lead your life by doing what is right, morally and ethically, it is easy to have empathy.

This week focus on putting yourself in the other persons situation. How would it feel if it were you? How would you want to be treated? Make the right, moral and ethical choice! Notice how it makes you feel as well as the other person.

Reader Responses

“One thing my wife (Nancy) taught me a long time ago was: Never disallow a person his/her feelings! I have learned quickly and practice it.” — Kurt Bishofberger

“Good “stuff” ~ thanks for continuing to be deligent in your words of the week….even though some weeks I may not respond….I always read them and ponder awhile! — Cathie Capolino

“The empathy wow was perfect seeing as such a situation arose for me today. You must be clarivoyant. Any way thanks for all the good words….. they are fun and educational.” — Deborah McCloud