This forum post is hidden because you have chosen to ignore kvhemby. Show Details
This forum post is hidden because you have submitted an abuse report against it. Show Details
Research has shown a steady decline in empathy among American college students over the past three decades (Konrath, O’Brien, & Hsing, 2011). Along with this decline, researchers have seen an increase in bullying and a misguided sense of self-importance (high levels of self esteem) on the part of college students (Twenge, 2006).
Because of the increasingly poor scores on various writing projects for which students are admonished to work from the reader perspective, I became curious as to the possible relationship between the absence of empathy skills and students' inability to properly construct direct and indirect messages.
My request of you: Have you noticed (whether you have administered any assessment instrument or not) an issue with interpersonal skills among your recent college graduates--particularly, do you believe these individuals understand what empathy means and how to apply it in situations relating to customers, clients, or co-workers? Do you think these individuals confuse empathy with sympathy and believe that feeling sorry for someone or about something is sufficient? Or, as I like to phrase it, do they believe that "it is better to ask forgiveness than to seek permission" when deciding on a specific approach to a problem--regardless of the outcome as it might relate to another person or persons?
Please provide me with answers to these questions--and any other pertinent information you have with regard to the absence of empathy among your employees (whether recent college grads or old timers like me). I am planning to conduct a study of Business Communication students at MTSU but would like to know some actual workplace data regarding the practice of empathy (or perhaps, the lack thereof).
K. Virginia Hemby, Ph.D.
Business Communication & Entrepreneurship Department
Middle TN State University