internal frame of reference of another with accu racy and with the emotional

Internal frame of reference of another with accu racy

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internal frame of reference of another with accu-racy, and with the emotional components andmeanings.. .as if one were the other person, but with-out ever losing the 'as if condition" (Rogers 1959, p.210). Most general models of listening incorporateempathy. Some theorists have considered it to bean antecedent, in that empathetic people tend to begood listeners (e.g., Stiel, Barker and Watson 1983;Brownell 1985, 1990). Others have included it withinthe model itself as an independent dimension (Huntand Cussela 1983; Lewis and Reinsch 1988). Weconcur with the latter group that empathy is anaspect of effective listening, but we do not view it asa separate dimension. Rather, we argue that empa-thy is an essential part of the most effective perfor-mance of all three dimensions. When "sensing,"salespeople with strong empathy are more likelythan those less endowed with empathy to be awareof more subtle cues from customers. When "pro-cessing," salespeople with strong empathy are morelikely than are less empathetic salespeople to un-derstand the significance of messages, more likelyto interpret and evaluate them correctly and, con-sequently, more likely to commit correct informa-tion to memory. When "responding," empatheticsalespeople are more likely to send back messagesthat assure their customers that they are on thesame wave-length.Cognitive and Affective EmpathyEmpathy has both "cognitive" and "affective" com-ponents (Duan and Hill 1996). The cognitive com-ponent, sometimes called "perspective taking" or"cognitive role taking," consists of an intellectualunderstanding of another person's situation (e.g.,Barrett-Leonard 1962, 1981; Borke 1971; Deutschand Madie 1975; Kalliopuska 1986; Katz 1963;Kohut 1971; Rogers 1986; Woodall and Kogler-Hill1982). The cognitive component is straightforwardand involves understanding on an objective level.The affective component, sometimes called"empathetic concern," consists of an internal emo-tional reaction that produces understanding ofanother's feelings (e.g., Allport 1961; Langer 1967;Mehrabian and Epstein 1972; Stotland 1969). Theaffective component is more difficult to explicatethan is the cognitive component, since it involvesemotional bonds between people that enable themto sense and process emotional states. A number oftheorists have adopted the position that "cognitive"and "affective" aspects are both essential and worktogether (e.g., Brems 1989; Hoffman 1977; Shantz1975; Strayer 1987), while others feel that empathycan be either "cognitive" or "affective" depending onthe situation (Gladstein 1983).In the sales context, both "cognitive" and "affec-tive" empathy are relevant concepts. Cognitive em-pathy implies that salespeople have the ability toanticipate objectively what their customers arelikely to think or do. Affective empathy implies sales-people are able to sense, process, and respond tocustomers on an intuitive level, picking up thingsthat are important but not stated. Affective empa-thy can make a contribution to selling but only ifsalespeople do not allow it to degenerate into dys-functional emotional behaviors such as "sympathy"
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