Publicador de contenidos

Back to 22_04_21_OPI_empatia_eyp

Occupational empathy, a pending subject


Published in

Diario de Navarra, El Día and Diario Montañés.

Gerardo Castillo

Lecturer at School of Education and Psychology

Empathy leads to a greater sense of comfort on work, relationships are much more fluid, which leads to greater productivity.

The term "empathy" has been in vogue lately: "you have to be empathetic". It is surprising that it has suddenly leapt from scientific language into common parlance. This explains why many people are unaware of its true meaning. For some, empathy is the new "Benito's purge": an immediate remedy for all subjectproblems. Well, it is neither a magic purge, nor is it a current finding.

Carl Rogers (1902-1987) was one of the first and leading theorists of what he coined "client-centred therapy or psychotherapy". He refers to empathy in the context of a therapeutic relationship, defining it as "the accurate grasp of the feelings experienced by the patient and the meanings they have for him". Rogers clarified that in order to achieve empathic understanding it is necessary to see things as the other sees them, which requires "putting oneself in their shoes".

Daniel Goleman, in his work "Emotional Intelligence" (1936), explains that empathy is not just about knowing; it also includes understanding the problems behind another person's negative feelings. With Goleman, empathy is no longer limited to a therapy of enquirystaff but is now one of the emotional competences applicable to the world of work, as he proposes in Emotional Intelligence at business(1998). In it he explains that there are new parameters for assessing people's work; knowledge and technical qualifications are no longer enough; emotional competencies, including empathy, adaptability and persuasiveness, are increasingly necessary. However, in 2022, empathy in the workplace is hardly implemented in companies, when work is the most appropriate and most necessary place to be empathetic.

The workunder pressure, competitiveness and the resulting stress call for specific therapy. Although more and more companies are committed to implementing empathy at work, there are still many that have not yet taken this step, because they are not aware of its importance.

Empathy is a factor core topicof personal relationships in the work environment, as it is necessary to continuously grasp the feelings of customers, employees and competitors. In this way you can increase sales, create a motivating workatmosphere and make better decisions.

Empathy is a value that is very much taken into account by the human resources departmentwhen selecting candidates. In general, and for some positions in particular, it is important to have this empathic ability. A non-empathic candidatewill probably not be accepted if the interviewer is able to detect this deficiency, which has been called "emotional deafness". People who are emotionally deaf are unable to make themselves positionaware of the feelings of others; for this reason they can be very cruel to other people without being aware of it.

Empathy leads to a greater sense of comfort on work, as relationships become much more fluid, leading to higher productivity and a better climate on work. By being empathetic, the worker will eliminate prejudices and assumptions, understanding their colleagues better; empathy allows for better communication between workers, so relationships become stronger and more lasting. This will be positive not only for your work, but for your whole professional degree program.

Empathy is not something you are born with, it is something you develop over the course of a person's life with the financial aidof trainingcourses on emotional intelligence. I think it is essential for university students who have the purposeto work in a businessto develop emotional competencies linked to directed work placements. This is preferable to doing it intensively at the end of the degree program, for two reasons: it saves time and provides better learning.

For those who wish to cultivate empathy and implement it, it is useful to practice active listening with the intention of understanding the other; to train the capacity for self-awareness (identification of one's own emotions so that they are not dysfunctional); to focus on understanding the other rather than judging them; to share achievements ("this was the fruit of teamwork work").