La Emotional Intelligence It will be one of the ten most sought-after job skills in the coming decades. It is so important that it explains why two people with the same intellectual capacity, training, education and experience progress and others do not.
La empathy it is a characteristic of emotionally intelligent people. It is the ability to relate appropriately with others taking into account how they think and feel. It is the ability to CONNECT with the other. How important is this today, in an increasingly digitally connected but “humanly” disconnected world. Empathy allows us to keep in mind that each of us is not just an "I" but also part of an "we". Think and worry beyond our problems, interests or needs, it makes us live a fuller life, with meaning, connection and belonging.
We can build and encourage the neural circuits of an empathetic brain. We can nurture a connected brain to care about others, about what is right and what is wrong (not only in us, but also in our children). How can we achieve this? One way is by paying attention to the needs of the people with whom we live. Repeated attention to any experience or block of information activates neurons and strengthens their connections. Where the attention is focused, the neurons fire. And when activated they connect. When we draw our attention to other people's concerns and point of view, we are stimulating the activation and neural growth of our brain for empathy.
Daniel Siegel talks about "Diamond of empathy": Five different ways we can take care of others and connect with them:
- Perspective taking: seeing the world through the eyes of the other.
- Attunement: actively listening to connect with the other.
- Emotional resonance: feeling what another feels.
- Cognitive empathy: understanding or intellectually capturing another person's experience.
- Compassionate empathy: noticing another's suffering and wanting to reduce it.
- Empathic Joy: Delighting in the happiness, achievement, and well-being of another.
Feed an empathetic brain. Encourage understanding and connecting with others, and try to help them in whatever is in your hands.
If you have children, it helps the neural circuits of your brain guide others and what others feel, to think and care about the people around them.
Maria Jose Ortega Martinez
Psychologist and trainer