Empathy to strengthen relationships.
Empathy is a vital element of any successful relationship — this we know. But what many don’t realize about “empathy” is that it’s not just one thing; it’s three.
According to science reporter and psychologist Daniel Goleman (the man who popularized the theory of emotional intelligence), there are actually three types of empathy that operate in different areas of the brain. He explained these nuances to Oprah during a conversation on “SuperSoul Sunday,” saying that the ability to foster each one is what can help strengthen relationships, personally and professionally.
1. Cognitive Empathy
When you hear the phrase “try to walk a mile in the other person’s shoes,” you’re discussing cognitive empathy, Goleman says. It’s awareness — understanding someone else’s perspective — which is a crucial part of maintaining a good connection and communication.
“Technically, it means, ‘I know what mental models you have, I know what language to use so you’ll understand me,” he explains. “That’s one complete set.”
2. Social Empathy
Another set is the social side of empathy. “That’s sensing in yourself immediately what the other person is feeling,” Goleman says.
This is how you create rapport with another person, he adds, and you must be in tune with what’s happening in order to do so. “You’re only going to have rapport if you pay full attention to the other person,” Goleman says. “You’re going to have chemistry.”
The third type of empathy is extremely important and equally underrated. Click to read more.
This post on empathy to strengthen relationships was published on Huffington Post.