How would you describe your level of empathy right now?
How would you describe the level of empathy in your school?
Where have you seen compassionate empathy during the COVID-19 crisis - in your home, in your community, or in the nation?
In light of current events, which element of empathy do you feel is most difficult for people? Why is that?
Hello! I’m Julie McDaniel-Muldoon, Safety and Well-Being Consultant at Oakland Schools. I created the Supportive Strategies Series with 3-minute episodes of strategies I think might be helpful to you, especially during this extraordinary time. These short and sweet episodes are based on research and best practice. Episode 5: Cultivating Empathy. Let’s begin.
To explore empathy we need to understand where it lives within social-emotional core competencies. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning describe these competencies self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making. Empathy lives in the social competencies, requiring us to understand ourselves before we understand others.
Teresa Wiseman has helped us understand the 4 elements of empathy. 1st, we must see the world as others see it. 2nd, we accept others without judgment. 3rd, we understand another’s feelings. 4th, we are able to communicate this understanding. Brene Brown teaches us that "Empathy is communicating that incredibly healing message of 'You're not alone.'"
Daniel Goleman has pushed our thinking to describe three different types of empathy. Cognitive empathy lives in the executive functioning part of our brain and is dependent upon our thoughts, understanding, and intellect. Emotional empathy lives in the limbic system, starts with our mirror neurons, and relies on our senses and feelings. Compassionate Empathy requires both emotional and cognitive empathy but goes deeper. It motivates us to take action on someone else’s behalf. Compassion is empathy is action. As Goleman suggests, “With this kind of empathy we not only understand a person’s predicament and feel with them, but are spontaneously moved to help, if needed.”
We cultivate empathy -By empathizing with students -By modeling empathy -By making caring for others a priority -By setting high ethical expectations -By practice, practice, practice
In an online environment,
-Use live video and chat whenever possible -Practice and model self-compassion -Link content to empathy whenever possible -Be mindful of pace
All of this content is based on solid research and best practice. Please contact me for selected references, more resources, and suggestions for topics for future episodes. firstname.lastname@example.org
Goleman, D. (2017). Empathic concern. Retrieved from https://www.edge.org/response-detail/27176.
Goleman, D. (March 1, 2008). Hot to help: When can empathy move us to action? Retrieved from https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/hot_to_help.
McDaniel-Muldoon, J.E. (2019, September 17). The Complexity of Empathy. International Bullying Prevention Association Blog and News. https://ibpaworld.org/blog/the-complexity-of-empathy/.
The RSA (2013, December 10). Brene Brown on empathy. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXSjc-pbXk4&feature=emb_title&disable_polymer=true.
Sevilla, V.J. (2019, June 23). Teaching empathy in an online class. ELearning Industry. Retrieved from https://elearningindustry.com/empathy-development-teaching-online-class.
Wiseman, Theresa. (1996). A concept analysis of empathy. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 23. 1162 - 1167. 10.1046/j.1365-2648.1996.12213.x.