Monday, 18 November 2013


There are many definitions of empathy. Daniel Baston, an American social psychologist says "it is a motivation oriented towards the other". Heinz Kohut, an Australian-born developer of self-psychology defines empathy as "the capacity to think and feel oneself into the inner life of another person". A philosopher, Khen Lampert, says "empathy is what happens when we leave our own bodies...and find ourselves either momentarily or for a longer period of time, in the mind of the other. We observe reality through hereuses, feel  her emotions, share her pain".

But I am more concerned about Protected Empathy (PE), which deals with the cognitive part of empathy, rather than the affective part of it. PE aims to sincerely understand and recognize what the "attacker", usually the more aggressive person in mediation, is saying, thinking or feeling, while avoiding being drawn into an emotional or judgemental position. The protected part also concerns fostering the blameless belief that one's objective is not to "fix" the other person's pain, we are simply using empathy to underline the importance of the other's views. This state of affairs encourages us to keep a positive energy channel open.

Entering into the attacker's mind-space in this way, whether with protected empathy or otherwise, often creates destabilization. The element of surprise is often the reason for this, and therefore the risk of a continued negative reaction remains present. Thus the "inner smile" needs to be kept active to anticipate a further attack.

30th March, 2016

*The more we empathise with others, the more generous we are
*6 ways to become a more empathic entrepreneur
*Empathic design: Mapping your brain, brand & data
*Can empathy improve policing?
*Visit the world's first Empathy Museum
*8 ways to build customer empathy
*How empathic understanding might assist in creating more compassionate policy options
*US: Bridging our national divide demands empathy & compassion
*Design thinking: Getting started with empathy
*Empathy can connect victim, perpetrator
*The dark side of empathy: How absorbing emotions can drain you
*Empathy & ethics
*Become a better leader through self-empathy
*Why empathy is key to 21st century business & why you should care
*Doctors, nurses & empathy
*Empathy, ethics & lawyers
*Becoming powerful makes you less empathic
*7 ways to develop empathy
*6 facts about empathy

  4th April, 2016

*Empathy is actually a choice
*A little empathy makes good leaders great
*Finding the limits of empathy
*Conservatives are happier than liberals, but only because they lack empathy
*The importance of helping your kids to develop empathy
*Empathy: One of the keys to my business success
*US: Bridging our national divide demands empathy & compassion
*Empathy, Schmempathy: Paul Bloom on why we should feel less
*3 kinds of empathy: Cognitive, Emotional, Compassionate
*Is empathy hardwired in the brain or do we learn it through experience?
*What's the matter with empathy?

6th April, 2016

*The most powerful type of empathy: Heyoka
*Does your Doctor need to show greater empathy?
*The downside of empathy

18th April, 2016

*Listen to this woman's message about having empathy for others
*How we understand others: Excessive empathy can impair understanding
*The power of story-telling: How to build empathy with the right narrative

20th May, 2016

*Acetaminophen (popular pain killer) linked to lower empathy levels
*Communication skills & techniques: Showing empathy
*Why acting as one company isn't easy: The link between empathy building & collaboration
*Importance of empathy for lawmakers & mediators

25th May, 2016

*Study: Wealthy children don't grow into the best leaders: Have lower level of empathy for others
*How do children learn empathy?
*Why is empathy so important?
*4 ways to raise empathic kids
*The importance of empathy
*Why Danish students are happier & more empathic
*How to raise an empathic kid in a selfie-obsessed world    

20th June, 2016

*Why teaching kids about empathy is important & the book that shows you how
*The strategist: Empathy is the new management
*Empathy: Have you got it?
*Black lives matter: Building empathy through reading
*Empathy & 13 kids' books
*Brain's empathy centre identified

21st August, 2016

*The importance of empathy
*8 books that teach empathy for kids with special needs
*Empathy in healthcare is valuable
*The neuroscience of empathy
*Student empathy
*Empathy promotes altruistic behaviour in economic interactions
*How books can teach your child empathy
*Are dancers more empathic?
*The importance of teaching empathy to pre-schoolers
*I don't feel your pain: Overcoming roadblocks to empathy
*In defense of Judicial empathy by Thomas Colby
*The empathy business is growing quickly

7th January, 2019

*Narcissism vs Empathy
*7 principles that influence our behaviour
*Empathy is good, justice is better
*Corporate options when using external Dispute Resolution expertise: Practice Notes
*3 Negotiation tips for women in Engineering & Technology


1 comment:

Kop'ep Dabugat said...

Understanding the conflict parties, their resources, their grievances, their contexts etc., are very key aspects of mediation. Hence, taking it from the dimension of empathy, there is a lot that one can learn from a conflict party's statements and rhetoric, especially where such come in the form of retortions. An aggressive conflict party betrays a lot easily, and it even makes the work of the mediator easier... But the mediator should not be tempted to think that the non-aggressive party may not have an equal right to speak and air out their views and grievances simply because they may be calm and well collected. in such a situation, if the mediator does not stick to the rules of neutrality (even if it were just a hint of such weakness), the situation may degenerate and all the gains obtained may fly away.