Tag Archive for 'condividere'

Empathy and compassion to communicate with the others

Tania Singer e Olga Klimecki (2014) Empathy and compassion. Current Biology, 24, R875-R878.

“Although the concepts of empathy and compassion have existed for many centuries, their scientific study is relatively young. The term empathy has its origins in the Greek word ‘empatheia’ (passion), which is composed of ‘en’ (in) and ‘pathos’ (feeling). The term empathy was introduced into the English language following the German notion of ‘Einfühlung’ (feeling into), which originally described resonance with works of art and only later was used to describe the resonance between human beings. The term compassion is derived from the Latin origins ‘com’ (with/together) and ‘pati’ (to suffer); it was introduced into the English language through the French word compassion. In spite of the philosophical interest for empathy and the fundamental role that compassion plays in most religions and secular ethics, it was not until the late 20th century that researchers from social and developmental psychology started to study these phenomena scientifically.

According to this line of psychological research, an empathic response to suffering can result in two kinds of reactions: empathic distress, which is also referred to as personal distress; and compassion, which is also referred to as empathic concern or sympathy. For simplicity, we will refer to empathic distress and compassion when speaking about these two different families of emotions. While empathy refers to our general capacity to resonate with others’ emotional states irrespective of their valence — positive or negative — empathic distress refers to a strong aversive and self-oriented response to the suffering of others, accompanied by the desire to withdraw from a situation in order to protect oneself from excessive negative feelings. Compassion, on the other hand, is conceived as a feeling of concern for another person’s suffering which is accompanied by the motivation to help. By consequence, it is associated with approach and prosocial motivation.

Research by Daniel Batson and Nancy Eisenberg in the fields of social and developmental psychology confirmed that people who feel compassion in a given situation help more often than people who suffer from empathic distress. Furthermore, Daniel Batsons’ work showed that the extent to which people feel compassion can, for instance, be increased by explicitly instructing participants to feel with the target person. Interestingly, the capacity to feel for another person is not only a property of a person or a situation, but can also be influenced by training.

In order to train social emotions like compassion, recent psychological research has increasingly made use of meditation-related techniques that foster feelings of benevolence and kindness. The most widely used technique is called ‘loving kindness training’. This form of mental practice is carried out in silence and relies on the cultivation of friendliness towards a series of imagined persons. One would usually start the practice by visualizing a person one feels very close to and then gradually extend the feeling of kindness towards others, including strangers and, at a later stage, also people one has difficulties with. Ultimately, this practice aims at cultivating feelings of benevolence towards all human beings.”

Ferrari: the team victory

Skill, aggressiveness and sharing. It was the winning mix of Ferrari and Vettel.

The team – In the last months, it was calm and focused on enhancing their skills. Vettel said: “We focused on what we had to do from time to time without looking around … especially in the last couple of months we were calm and we worked”.

The driver – Vettel was aggressive towards Hamilton, pressed him and he surrendered. Emanuela Audisio wrote that he followed the advice he gave his defenders Nereo Rocco (former Milan manager): “follow him even in the bathroom.”

The team and the driver - throughout this time Vettel and the crew never stop to talk together, they shared ideas and this common attitude. Vettel said: “happiness in particular. In Maranello people were happy to work together. With each other. There were no shortcuts, you had to work so hard, think so much about what you did; and you can make  all this sacrifice only if you are driven by passion, desire”



All that we share: A video against the wall

Sometimes it’s difficult to find the things that we, as human beings, have in common.

We live in times when the “Us vs Them” narrative has become mainstream. We get caught up in minutiae and risk losing sight of what binds us, rather than divides us.

This Danish television station ad, entitled “All that we share,” challenges this narrative with a simple but effective formula.

In the video, groups of Danes get onto a stage, stepping into delineated areas on the floor that define them by opposition — “The high earners” vs. “Those just getting by;” lifelong Danes vs. immigrants; “Those who trust” vs. “Those we try to avoid.”

At some point, something happens that will push these people to step outside their defining boxes. And it’s so heartwarming we want to cry.


Basketball coach Phil Jackson on team love

“What do you mean when you write that the critical ingredient for a championship is love?”

“I know teams that get along well, they party together, but they’re not about the sharing and the deep care that you have to have as a team. You have to protect each other. You have to cover the other’s butt when he’s getting beat offensively. You have to know how to deliver the ball so people can get a good shot. You have to move outside yourself and think others.”

(By Belinda Luscombe,  Time, June 3 2013, 10 Questions).



What we can learn from London 2012 about success

Interview to Dominic Mahony, Olympic team leader for GB Modern Pentathlon for the past four Olympic Games, where he shares his top lessons from London 2012.

Talent identification and development

The success of Team GB was not a flash in the pan. It was the result of 15 years of consistent investment in excellence that allowed 26 sports to put in place long-term talent identification and development programmes that will continue to guarantee success at future Olympic Games.

Business leaders can learn from this – you need to invest in the long-term success of your organisation through your people. Invest in their development and their talent and find ways to stretch and challenge them to perform. But consider your assessment and identification programme carefully – the world is changing at pace, and the skills and competencies your recruit for now may well be completely defunct in five years’ time. In sport, we also assess an athlete’s learning mindset and resilience – their ability, and attitude towards learning new things and being able to not only cope with but thrive in pressured situations. These are skills that your employees will need as well, and can help ensure the future of your organisation.

Make the most of your successes

It is said that you learn a lot from your failures, but you can also learn a lot from your successes. Understanding your strongest skills is important, so that you are able to use them in the future. London was able to project-manage the most complex construction and event delivery programme the country had ever seen, and did it safely, on time and within budget. We utilised our existing skills as a country to demonstrate to the rest of the world what we are capable of. The reputational impact for our civil engineering and construction industries has been significant, demanding a greater worldwide respect for British construction firms. What are your skills as an organisation and are you making the most of them? Can you capitalise on the skills of your workforce or your products to ensure your position in the marketplace is as strong as it could be?

The role of the leader

The coaches and team managers of Team GB had very clear goals – to define the performance required to win; create the environment for the athletes to succeed, and then get out of the way and let them perform.

(From: Lane4 newsletter)