How would you explain the concept of self-awareness / empathy / emotional intelligence to another person?
Empathy is the ability to understand another person's viewpoint, to recognise and experience their feelings, and to be aware and understanding of their thoughts, from their perspective. When we are empathetic we allow ourselves to understand others and the intentions of others. Empathy requires that we connect with them and allows us to build a relationship with that person therefore empathy is also one of the most important forms of communication. By using empathy we are able to communicate better. Developing an empathic approach allows us to improve our communication skills. We can ...view middle of the document...
(Greiner, D.R. 2011)
It has been proven that an empathetic approach and empathetic listening allows positive communication and increases understanding of a person's needs and allows for positive outcomes for all. Empathy is therefore a vital link in the process of Emotional Intelligence. (Ioannidou, F. 2008). In relation to Nursing, it enables nurses who have well developed empathetic listening skills to establish a rapport with a patient which can assist in establishing effective solutions and building a trusting professional nurse/patient relationship. By using effective skills in empathetic communication, Nurses have the ability to divert a potential highly emotional situation into effective and positive interactions. (Halpern, J. & Ebrary 2001)
In effective 2 way communication, it is important ensure that the communication is understood by both parties and perceived as effective for those involved. In empathetic communication the person is intuitive to the other persons feelings, emotions and concerns. “”Perception of another person’s emotional response is an important first step in the evocation of an empathic response” (Mar, R.A. 2011). This allows a connection to occur between the two persons where a feeling of consideration for each other occurs. This enables each person to predict the responses of the other person, as a sense of trust and comfort has been developed. Once this trust has been developed, the empathetic listener is able to motivate the person to reach solutions or goals that may assist them (Charon, R. 2001)
When we are empathetic listeners, we need to think and look beyond our own beliefs and concerns. We may not agree with the person’s lifestyle choices or attitudes but through using an empathetic approach we are still able to acknowledge their thoughts and feelings. This does not have to mean that we approve of, or agree with, the person’s actions or opinions. This allows us to be truthful to our own morals and opinions. (Slote, M.A. 2007). It is proven that it is better to accept these differences and build productive relationships. It is also important to maintain our own values and differences, but by using effective empathy we can maintain our values, morality and cultural sensitivities and accept that other peoples behaviours and values are different to that of our own. (Pederson et al, 2008)
In conclusion, empathy is a very effective and important form of communication and a vital link to Emotional Intelligence (EI). In the health care setting,...