Importance of Building Empathy in Education – Why Should You Care?

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Introduction

The incessant advancements in technology might have made us ‘feel’ that the world has gotten smaller. But in reality, humans have become shockingly disconnected. The state of empathy among us is alarmingly distressful and it’s high time we do something about it.

Today, the conversation around empathy has virtually ceased to exist. In our educational systems too, professors and students no longer see the world through each other’s eyes and have no patience to tap into each other’s emotions and point-of-views.

Educational institutions across the world should support programs that help students, professors, and everyone involved to develop empathy. It’s an important social skill that is declining as we speak. One must learn what is empathy, understand its benefits, and practice enough to develop empathy with time.

What is empathy and why is it ‘The Skill of the Future?’

Psychology Today defines empathy as following,

“Empathy is the ability to recognize, understand, and share the thoughts and feelings of another person, animal, or fictional character.”

It is a skill that allows us to establish highly functional relationships by actively involving ourselves in the experiences and point-of-views of others rather than getting obsessively involved in our own.

More than that, it helps to become prosocial and reflect helping behavior without somebody having to force it out of you. With empathy, compassion comes from within. And believe us, it is a skill you want to develop to have a better future.

It becomes more important given how empathy is on a decline. The speedy transformations driven by technology in how we interacted in our society and at work have led us to become more anxious and unhappy – making the upcoming generations angrier.

And this increasing volatility in human temperament is bound to make it difficult for people to function together. Therefore, empathy is a skill that should be practiced globally to mitigate the side-effects of rapid technological expansion.

What are the benefits of empathy in education?

Once you make empathy a standard practice in educational institutions, you set everyone involved in the education system for more success – both in personal and professional life.

Google LLC’s Chief Innovation Evangelist Frederik G. Pferdt mentions:

“Empathy is the skill of the future, and practicing empathy every day as a business leader, for example, helps you understand what your employees need and what your immediate team actually needs right now, So, putting yourself into their situation, to really understand how they really think and feel, helps you come up with better solutions for your employees.”

Empathy can significantly boost their overall health, communication skills, work ethics, and social behavior. At the same time, it possesses the capacity to effectively reduce negativity in an educational institution, if there’s any.

1. Improves your health

Empathy makes people better equipped to handle stress at school or at work and deal with other non-empathetic people. It quickly develops a healthy coping mechanism in us which further strengthens our bonds with people around us.

2. Boosts communication skills

Empathy can singlehandedly improve your communication skills. Since it involves actively participating in a conversation and thinking or feeling like the person you are interacting with, your ability to pay more attention and limit misunderstanding will get better.

3. Develops positive work ethics

Normal discussions at a workplace can turn into heated exchanges if the parties involved don’t practice empathy. The moment you develop a compassionate mindset in an organization, people will start performing better, together. Employees will have respect for each other and work together to make their office environment a safer and happier one.

4. Influences social behavior

Empathy is vital to our survival as a species. Once we start looking out for each other, we are able to progress quickly as a society and eventually create a better world to live in. Our social skills and ability to show kindness will only grow as we practice empathy in our lives.

5. Reduces negativity

We are living in a world where things go wrong every passing second. Calamities hit our lives and affect us and everyone connect. In such circumstances, it’s extremely difficult to stay calm and positive. But when we develop an empathetic mindset, it gives atrocities a new meaning and motivates us to look at the positive side of things.

 

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How to be more empathetic?

So, how can you become more empathetic? Well, empathy is a skill that can be mastered if actively practiced. Here are some of the best ways to become a more empathetic person or encourage empathy in education institutions. Let’s discuss them in detail.

1. More listening, less speaking

Become a better listener. Whenever you find yourself in a conversation, give the person your undivided attention. That means to drop everything you are doing and give the speaker the attention it deserves. Moreover, ask relevant questions and try summarizing your understanding.

2. Show a genuine perspective

Tell the person you are interacting with how you feel about the situation. However, don’t do it just for the sake of it. Give your genuine feedback and allow yourself to imagine how you’d experience the moment if you were in it.

3. Let go of your safe zones

Don’t fear vulnerability. As humans, we connect with others better when we accept our shortcomings, fears, and insecurities. One of the best ways to develop empathy is to ask for help. When other people see that you need help too, it will become easier for them to interact with you. In other words, don’t be afraid to show your human side.

4. Make no assumptions

Practice making no assumptions and ditching baseless preconceived notions about anything. As humans, we tend to simplify a problem by making assumptions that are nothing but shortcuts to solve the problem. This distracts us from seeing the positives and causes terrible confusion.

5. Use imagination to connect

Lastly, let your imagination take the driving seat. Imagination can very well improve your capacity to form connections and understand the point-of-views of people around you. This is critical to empathy as it allows you to relate to a situation without having to experience it yourself.

Practice empathy with effect!

Now that you know everything about the state of empathy in the modern-day education system, is there anything that you can do to make things better? Absolutely!

We have just the right piece of content for you to start making yourself more empathetic. Check out the state-of-the-art e-bloom that we designed to facilitate learning by helping. This will train you successfully for empathy and establish better relationships with people around you.

Loved reading this content? Feel free to check out some of the other highly informational posts on our blog. Stay empathetic!

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