Is empathy just part of our personality or can it be taught / learned?
Many organisations have empathy as part of their values or competencies with little consideration about whether it can be developed and if it can, how to develop it. The closest many organisations get to venturing into this field is to run ‘emotional intelligence’ courses, which when evaluated turn out to be largely PowerPoint led cognitive exercises as opposed to the real development of emotional skills like empathy and emotion regulation.
What follows in this briefing is a useful report from a roundtable colloquium of expert witnesses run earlier this year at Virginia Commonwealth University in the USA to discuss how empathy can be taught/developed in classroom/academic/workshop/organisational environments.
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