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A Little Empathy For The Holidays

A Little Empathy For The HolidaysOur workplaces, public places and even entertainment places are almost under constant siege from frustration, anxiety and the resulting violence against each other.

Whether such violence results in micro inequities, little slick comments which slice like paper cuts on the heart… or, results in citizens acting out in public ways which result and bullying, violence or death, such interpersonal violence will continue to erode humanity forcing citizens to a fight or flight stance and away from a collaborative stance.

As we come into the holiday season, how can we as society make a change to recapture faith, hope and joy?  How about a little cognitive empathy for the holidays?

Cognitive empathy is a philosophy espoused by Roman Krzanic which can transcend violence, bullying and hostile activities against each other.  When we step into someone else’s shoes, and cognitively consider and strive to understand how someone else feels, we can stop abusing each other.

By stepping into the other person’s world view and understand, we can empathize with the pain from some one else’s experience and limit our contribution to that person’s pain.

Engaging actions of cognitive empathy include:

  • Be the sensitive and active listener:  Avoid judgment and consider how the speaker feels
  • Share one’s own experience: When we offer stories and perspectives from a vulnerable position, we create an empathic bond.
  • Understand:  Avoid finding fault, but instead consider the worldview of others.

These strategies of cognitive empathy are also akin to restorative justice theories, which include the sharing of narratives and personal perspectives to understand the other party.

In short, “walking a mile in the other man’s shoes…” can go a long way in building trust and collaboration in work teams and personal teams.

For more information on cognitive empathy, check out the upcoming Empathy Museum which is set to open in 2015. http://www.empathymuseum.com

A little empathy for the holidays may help us restore peace on earth.  Happy Holidays

Read more posts by Leah Hollis, Ed.D. here. Leah is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire.



JenningsWire.com is created by National Publicity Firm, Annie Jennings PR that specializes in providing book marketing strategies to self-published and traditionally published authors. Annie Jennings PR books authors, speakers and experts on major top city radio talk shows that broadcast to the heart of the market, on local, regionally syndicated and national TV shows and on influential online media and in prestigious print magazines and newspapers.