Trainee will be taught that understanding empathy is a key to established a successful relationship with another person.
Empathy: the ability to perceive another’s experience and communicate that perception back to the person.
Examples: I listen to you as you speak to me and though I cannot experience your experience, I begin to have a mental picture of the essence of what you are describing.
Having the ability to convey accurate empathy
Empathetic Listening: (aka- active listening or reflective listening) a way of listening and responding to another person that improves mutual understanding and trust. It enabling the listener to receive and accurately interpret the speaker’s message and then provide an appropriate response.
We will teach the 5 keys step of empathic listening
Pros of empathetic listening:
Creates a safe environment for sharing and problem solving
- Lets you builds trust & respect
- It enables the one in need to release his/her emotions
- Helps reduce tension
- Encourages the surfacing of information
Give the person you are connecting with your full attention. (The person in front of you is your sole focus at this particular moment.)
Do not speak when the other person is in the middle of communicating their issue. (Empathic listening means that it is your job to actually hear what is being said.)
Offer a summary of what you have heard to the speak, when they are done talking. (Repeating and summarizing what they have said shows them that you were listening, and reaffirms to yourself what you heard.)
Several proven techniques to diffuse a highly emotional situation.
These three techniques are:
- Seek out a quiet, empty spot to cool down
- Focus on something that made you happy recently
- Listen to or watch something upbeat
Technique one: Seek out a quiet, empty spot to cool down.
One of the most effective strategies when you reach a heightened state of emotion is to remove yourself altogether from the situation. This can give you time to return to a rational state before making any decisions and save you some public embarrassment of yourself and anyone involved. Remember, when anyone is in a highly emotional state, they don't always make the best decisions.
Technique two: Focus on something that made you happy recently.
Always instruct a highly emotional guest to focus on something that makes/made them happy. Focusing on a positive thing can evoke positive emotions in you. If you focus on a time when you and the deceased were happy, you can't help but put on a little smile for those memories. Remember, as someone who is not in a highly emotional state, you are the voice of reason. Make sure everyone remains as calm as reasonably possible.
Technique three: Listen to or watch something upbeat.
Music can set the emotional tone. You don't want to have something too upbeat at a memorial service, funeral, or body viewing, but some positive music will set the tone of the event. If you play the saddest song you can think of, because you feel sad, you will create a room full of sad guests. In many religions a funeral is considered a celebration of life. Keep that in mind when suggesting ambient music for an event.
Empathy in the funeral home business is very important, you as an employee will be dealing with customers having a variety of emotions.
Being able to show that you do care about the tragedy they may have gone through will better prepare you for this job. Not saying that you should cry along with them, but showing or even looking as though you do not care will hurt this funeral homes image. Telling customers, we do not care about your losses only the money you give us.
As an associate of the Barry Deep Funeral Home, you are on the front line of our image.
Even if you don't know it you represent the brand. It is not only important to have some emotion when entertaining a client, but to make sure they know it.
You want to represent yourself and your brand well while providing the best service you can.
To express sympathy is when you make it known that you are aware of an individuals distress and that you have compassion for them.
To express empathy takes caring further by not only making it known that you are aware and expressing compassion but ALSO showing a deeper level of understanding by entering into an individuals’ experience.
Two ways to enter an individuals experience by:
- Reflecting a persons expressed feelings back to them
- Paraphrasing what a person has said to you to demonstrate an understanding
Why is it important to know the difference?
- Expressing sympathy can leave a person feeling like someone feels sorry for them which can create of sense of inferiority
- Expressing empathy enables everyone to feel on the same emotional level and is a more effective form of communication.