Lack of empathy damages everyone…individuals, families, organisations, countries. Inward Focus is the result.
Simon Baron Cohen recognises 2 components to empathy – the cognitive element (putting yourself in another person’s shoes) and the affective (the appropriate emotional response to another person’s thoughts and feelings).
Lack of empathy is found in personality disorders, but a lack of empathy afflicts many more individuals than this and, some would say, more than ever.
We live in a culture that discourages empathy
We overcome the barrier of Inward Focus by using empathic approaches, which can be very simple, but may require a profound shift in our thinking.
Try these at work:
- How quickly do you respond to email? Even if you can’t give a full reply, keeping others informed shows you’ve considered them
- Do you expect others to be a mind reader? When informing others, make sure its from their perspective, not yours.
- Are you always late? Rather than excusing it as your inherent lack of time management, consider what this says about your attitude to others?
Empathy is the most valuable human resource
Simon Baron Cohen