Empathy in Effective Communication


Empathyin Effective Communication

Empathyin Effective Communication

Empathyis the ability and capacity to identify with another person’sfeelings by understanding his or her experiences. Through empathy, aperson is able to place oneself in the shoes of the other person anddiscern what he or she is feeling or thinking in regard to his or herexperiences (Bevan &amp Sole, 2014). According to Colonna (2011),Empathy helps a communicator to understand the feelings of thereceiver. Therefore, empathy is important for effective communicationby helping the sender to identify with the receiver before sendingthe message. Empathy makes communication effective because the senderencodes a message in a manner that will be understood by thereceiver. According to Kory (2009), this is possible because thesender understands the situations and feelings of the receiver andhis ability to decode the message appropriately.

Duringmy internship as a marketing assistant, we used to go to the field tosell life insurance products to clients. I met a lady whose situationwas difficult for me to empathize. She had lost her husband a yearearlier and she had problems raising her three children. She had losther job the previous three months and payment of her health insurancepolicies for the last two months. My task was to present anotification that her insurance premiums were overdue. This wasdifficult for me to handle, but I had to inform her of therepercussions. Therefore, I chose to send her a mail later.

Toempathize with the lady and her family, I should have checked herinformation and understood the situation first before visiting her.To visit her, I could have requested a colleague in the field to joinme so that the discussion would be warm and evenly spread. From whatI have learnt in this class, I could have understood the situationbetter and acted more professionally to communicate the message moreeffectively.


Bevan,J. L., &amp Sole, K. (2014). Makingconnections: Understanding interpersonal communication (2nd ed.).San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Colonna,J. (2011). TheEmpathy Factor: Your Competitive Advantage for Personal, Team, andBusiness Success.Encinitas, CA: PuddleDancer Press

Kory,F. (2009). InterpersonalCommunication: The Whole Story. NewYork: McGraw-Hill