The Role of Empathy

I first learned of empathy in my MBA Psychology/OB class. It is in simple terms, an ability to see things from another's perspective, not your own. It is quite a powerful concept. In any customer-facing situation, it is important. Not making him wait, or making his wait painless, removing drudgery from the tasks he has to perform, making him feel important (he pays the bill, remember?), are all a part of it. But in medicine, it's a life-saver, even if not literally.

The in-patient system at most Indian hospitals is such that the doctor rarely sees his patient, except in the Operation Theatre. His visits are unpredictable, and few. Mostly, the duty doctors and nurses and staff are the people who take care of the patient. Therefore, this front-line staff needs to have empathy, and can make a difference if they do.

A lot of parents need it too, judging by the Kota (coaching class) enrollments and suicides. Having unrealistic expectations from your kid can kill him- no kidding! Just let the kid discover himself. Give him the opportunities, but leave him to decide if he likes to follow a particular career.

A forced career-fit may result in an OK or mediocre careerist, but the world may lose out on excellence in some other field. The struggling poet/artist may not be struggling, he may simply be enjoying his life doing what he likes. What explains the many engineers, doctors and MBAs writing novels, for instance? Or turning entrepreneurs in unrelated areas? Or teaching?

Comments

Parul said…
I agree with you there. Children must be given the choice to pick their career of choice. However, MBAs who are entrepreneurs and authors could be finding a new passion to work for. Just a thought. :)
Rajendra said…
Sure, might be that, Parul.

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