Empathetic Chatbots: Can Leaders & Doctors Be As Empathetic? | #Leadership

Have you read the article on empathetic chatbots getting higher scores on empathy than doctors and other leaders? For example, patients using ChatGPT gave it higher ratings than they gave their doctors. If you work in healthcare or some other place of leadership, the findings can be very alarming. As I have spent thirty years working with diverse leaders on empathy and people skills, I can offer tangible insight here on what’s going on. Let’s explore this right now.

Empathetic Chatbots: Image is 3 faces on a meter with an arrow pointing at smiling face

Empathetic Chatbots: More Empathetic Than Doctors & Other Leaders?

Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay.

Empathetic Chatbots: Why Do They Score Higher Than the Doctors?

Empathetic chatbots are using time-tested knowledge about empathy to give empathetic responses to patients online. The software engineers and programmers are coding this knowledge right into the chatbots. Chatbots don’t have a choice of whether to be empathetic. They are basically computer programs and do what programmers tell them to do. It’s guaranteed. So why isn’t it as guaranteed that you will get empathy from doctors and other leaders?

What gets in the way of doctors and leaders choosing to show empathy?

In fact, if you choose to be a doctor, doesn’t that mean you are a very caring person by nature? That you want to show empathy? If you choose to be a leader, isn’t it because you want to lead other human beings with care and success?

Obstacles to showing empathy:

  1. Believing you can’t learn to be empathetic. It’s false. You can learn. But if you think you can’t, you won’t.

  2. Fear that showing empathy will make you look weak. In general, doctors and leaders have learned this fear. They’ve learned it from male stereotypes. Then, they held women doctors and leaders to the same standard.

  3. Trained NOT to be empathetic. Medical schools for years “trained the humanity out of medical students.” Medical schools believed that doctors would lose their objectivity if they cared about their patients. To change this, read objectivity is not the same as detached coldness. You can be objective AND empathetic.

  4. Defining success with patients or those you lead as doing things quickly. It’s not that being empathetic takes longer. It doesn’t. Yet, doctors and leaders start to focus on how fast they perform. And as we all know, what you focus on guides what you say and do.

  5. The Human Factor

  6. Human struggle. Admittedly everyone, including doctors and leaders, have bad days, challenges in their own life, frustrations and politics to deal with at work. So these human struggles can block you from showing empathy — if you let it happen.

How Doctors & Leaders Can Surpass the Empathetic Chatbots

First of all, doctors and leaders have the edge over chatbots when it comes to expertise. However, if you think that your expertise alone is all others need, you will lose out. People need empathy as much as your expertise. Secondly, you can learn to give more empathetic responses. You can use the same time-tested knowledge that programmers are coding into chatbots. So, how will you start? Go through the list of obstacles noted above. Which ones are stopping you? Are there others not noted there? Make your own list of what is stopping you from showing more empathy to patients or those you lead.

Lastly, read how to nourish your empathy. Also, remember two key points: Empathy starts with questions not statements and show empathy early on to patients and those you lead. If you want coaching, let me know. I would love to work with you!

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Post:
People Skills Empathy: Do You Show It or Project Your Own Needs and Goals?

©2023 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

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