Empathy is a word that is being used a lot over the past few months. Given its relevance in how we all make our way through the pandemic, I thought it might be helpful to unpack the meaning behind the word. We last talked about empathy at the top of the year, making a distinction between sympathy and empathy – using the Christchurch shootings as the backdrop. Now in the face of a global pandemic, the word empathy is being used a lot. It is no longer abstract for people; it has become very real. Given its relevance in how we make our way together through the pandemic, I thought it might be helpful to unpack the meaning behind the word. There are three elements of empathy: (1) Cognitive, (2) Emotional, (3) Compassionate. I would like to quickly walk the audience through the three elements and what each might look like in the current context.
DISCUSSION POINTS: 1. How does empathy fall into the broader realm of emotional intelligence? How has EQ been put to the test over the past few months? Is it living up to the premise that it outweighs IQ, especially in a crisis? 2. What is Empathy? (Perhaps the distinction between sympathy and empathy) 3. Three elements of empathy • Cognitive – to understand • Emotional – to feel • Compassionate – to act