Conceptualizing empathy competence: a professional communication perspective

Melissa Fuller, Elanor Kamans, Mark van Vuuren, Marca Wolfensberger, Menno de Jong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Empathy competence is considered a key aspect of excellent performance
in communication professions. But we lack an overview of the specific
knowledge, attitudes, and skills required to develop such competence in
professional communication. Through interviews with 35 seasoned communication professionals, this article explores the role and nature of
empathy competence in professional interactions. The analysis resulted in a
framework that details the skills, knowledge, and attitudinal aspects of
empathy; distinguishes five actions through which empathy manifests itself;
and sketches relationships of empathy with several auxiliary factors. The
framework can be used for professional development, recruitment, and the
design of communication education programs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-36
JournalJournal of Business and Technical Communication
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2021


  • empathy competence
  • communication


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