The complex dynamics of empathy

People are not naturally tuned to empathise, yet empathy is what makes us human

“Never criticise a man until you’ve walked a mile in his moccasins,” is an old (Red) Indian proverb. Today in the customer care industry, we expect employees to be extremely empathetic in their dealings. They are taught to spout phrases such as, “I can understand what you feel…”. It is not always easy to place oneself in another’s shoe. More often than not, it comes off as an empty sort of phrase.

What is empathy? It is, in the words of Carl Rogers, “to sense the hurt or the pleasure of another as he senses it.”