People Who Lack Compassion For The Environment Are Also Less Emotional In General

People who show less compassion and emotion toward images of environmental disasters are generally less empathetic and emotional overall. People who respond less emotionally to images of damage to the environment are also less emotional and empathic in general, according to a new University of Michigan study.

Differences in political ideology can limit policy adjustments that address climate change. Researchers and practitioners often raise concern by appealing to people’s empathy. However, some people appear less emotionally impacted by environmental destruction—particularly those who are more ideologically conservative and less pro-environmental, the study showed.

In a series of online experiments in the U.S., U-M graduate student Logan Bickel and psychology professor Stephanie Preston examined the emotional responses of more than 600 people in a variety of contexts. People not concerned when viewing pictures of damage to the environment—such as oil spills on fire in a gulf—also did not feel bad about other images including crying babies, officers in distress, injured athletes, wounded soldiers and even moldy food.

Consistent with this lack of contagious distress, more “impassive” people said that they felt less empathy for those in daily life and were less pro-environmental and less awed by nature. This group also responded less to positive images such as happy babies, ice cream and stacks of money, the research showed.

The study’s results suggest that some people’s lack of concern for the environment may not be particularly political or reflect a specific disinterest in the environment. It is instead a characteristic of their broader emotional palette, Preston said. “Given that our sense of risk and decisions are strongly guided by emotions, more impassive people are less inclined to dedicate resources to this slowly building crisis,” she said.

Appeals to help the environment must consider variation in people’s emotional make-up and devise new tactics for those who are unpersuaded by appeals to emotion, Logan said. The average American believes in climate change, worries about it, and supports related policy, but there are still considerable differences—across individuals and with political ideology—that limit the ability to foster change.

Researchers and practitioners often increase concern and action for others through feelings of empathy, which also increases pro-environmentalism. However, some people appear less emotionally impacted by environmental destruction—particularly more ideologically conservative and less pro-environmental individuals.

To determine why some people appear to be impassive to environmental destruction, we conducted 3 online studies to measure beliefs and emotional processes in political liberals versus conservatives. Across 3 studies, we replicated the link between impassivity and conservatism, and found that more impassive people acknowledge our negative impact on the environment but are less concerned about it and more confident in an eventual solution. Impassivity, however, is not specific to the environment.

People who are more impassive about the environment also respond less emotionally to positive and negative images that are unrelated to the environment, including human suffering and hedonic reward. They also report reduced trait empathy, perspective taking, and daily emotional expression and experience. Impassivity is not linked to differences in trait personal distress, anxiety, psychopathy (apart from low empathy), or trouble appreciating consequences.

Impassivity is not associated with deficits in processing others’ facial emotion during early perceptual decoding but is associated with the later suppression of emotion. Everyone will not respond to emotional appeals to help a distressed environment. Other strategies are recommended to reach a broad audience.

By: Morgan Sherburne

Source: People Who Lack Compassion for the Environment Are Also Less Emotional in General – Neuroscience News

Critics by Six Seconds

Empathy has been regarded by environmental thinkers as a key in conservation efforts. Nevertheless, systematic research on empathy toward nature, particularly from the personality perspective, has been lacking in psychology. The present research thus provides this needed investigation by testing four propositions regarding a new construct—dispositional empathy with nature (DEN), which refers to the dispositional tendency to understand and share the emotional experience of the natural world.

In five studies with 817 participants in total (including university students and working adults from two societies), DEN robustly and uniquely predicted conservation behavior (Proposition 1). Females, respondents who felt close to nature, and participants who considered nature to be sentient exhibited stronger DEN (Propositions 2–4). DEN was distinct from empathy with humans and a number of known determinants of conservation behavior (including personality traits, values, emotional involvement with nature, environmental concern, and social desirability bias).

Taken together, these findings highlight the possibility of developing a theory of empathy with nature by referring to the existing understanding about empathy with humans. The construct of DEN has much theoretical utility, as it sheds new light on several under-explored issues in conservation psychology (including the gender gap in environmentalism, the role of connection to nature, and the role of anthropomorphism), and bears practical implications for the promotion of environmentalism.

In addition, the newly developed scale for DEN is potentially useful for assessing the efficacy of environmental education programs. Other research studies have backed up the incredible research on greenery in urban environments. The results are clear: A lack of connection to nature results in crime and social breakdown. And conversely, efforts to greenify urban areas leads to better neighborly relations, more empathy, and less crime.

Police records confirm this anecdotal relationship between green space and social breakdown, providing an even more objective measure than the resident’s memories. Research from Columbia and Penn found that “cleaning and greening” vacant lots led to a 9% reduction in gun assaults. A 9% reduction in gun assaults! Greenery has also been linked to better long-term health outcomes – mentally and physically. Physically, greenery has been linked to less obesity, diabetes and hypertension.

Mentally, research in London found that a neighborhood’s greenery predicted how many medications related to mood disorders that the neighborhood pharmacy prescribed. Taken altogether, the findings suggest that connection to nature, Vitamin N, is an essential component of human health and wellbeing. Humans are incredibly adaptable, but we’re still deeply wired to our original habitat, the natural world. Should these findings change how we build our cities? Or within existing cities, where we choose to eat, work and spend free time?

While this research on making cities green is powerful and thought provoking, I found this research on nature’s effects on the individual level to be equally powerful, and even more actionable. You don’t have to become a farmer to reap the benefits of increased connection to nature. Research has found that even looking at nature through a window changes our brains and bodies on a cellular level.

“When you look out at a green landscape, even from indoors, your heart rate will go down,” explains Kuo, “and you’ll change from sympathetic nervous activity over to parasympathetic nervous activity, which is basically going from what we call ‘fight or flight’ into ‘tend and befriend’ mode. So it has these very systematic physiological impacts on us, which have long-term health outcomes associated with them.”…

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How To Become a Killer Negotiator In Nine Steps

Negotiating is something we do on a daily basis, be it at work or at home, and is key to ensuring that you always get the best outcome. According to the late soul singer Marvin Gaye, “Negotiation means getting the best of your opponent”. But negotiation is an art form that is hard to learn and even harder to master.

We’ve cherry-picked the most powerful tips for becoming a killer negotiator from Quora, the global question and answer network, to find the secret to getting what you want, every time.

1. Always be prepared

“You need to know as much as you can about the other party/topic/project”, explains Sebastian Amieva, a Quora poster who studied negotiation at Harvard Law School.

Fellow Quora poster Margaret Weiss agrees: “Negotiation is about the other party. It’s not about you. You can be the best orator in the world – concise, convincing, eloquent – but if the other party cannot relate to you, regardless of your skills, all of those efforts will be in vain.

“The first thing that negotiators do is research their target audience – and based on the information gathered they adjust their pitch to the exact expectations of the other party. This research is what makes a person a good negotiator: the ability to connect to the needs of the other party, and the ability to speak on the same level.”

2. Remain objective

“A mediator must remain objective in discussing issues, even if they dislike some or all of the parties to the negotiation,” says Shane Dempsey, a professional mediator.

Even if you don’t like the other parties involved, they should still receive professionalism and courtesy, Ms Dempsey added.

3. Use open-ended questions

According to behavioural science expert Craig Dos Santos, asking open-ended questions is key to negotiating, as it gets the other party talking, “so you can learn more, listen more, and figure out what is driving their thought process”.

“Don’t ask questions that start with verbs. ‘Is that okay?’ or ‘Is the budget proposal correct?’ Instead try, ‘How can we improve this?’ or ‘What changes are needed in the budget proposal?’”

4. Don’t talk too much

By listening more and talking less, negotiators are able to develop a detailed understanding of the needs of the other person.

“The best negotiator that I’ve known really didn’t talk much,” says Yishan Wong, a former chief executive of Reddit whose Quora post on this topic received almost 2,000 upvotes (or “likes”). “He would just ask you questions about what you wanted and listen really carefully.

“People like to talk about what they want and how they feel about it, so they will tend to go on about things if you let them, and he would just let them do that, all the while listening really carefully.

“He would then go away and figure out how to structure the right deal given the resources/abilities at his (or his company’s) disposal, and then present them with a deal,” adds Mr Wong. “He didn’t need to talk them into it very much, the key seemed to be all about getting into their heads to find out what kind of deal would be most appealing to them.”

5. Force a ‘no’ out of your opponent

Mr Dos Santos has a contrarian approach to negotiation. “When you get a ‘no’ you have a real answer,” he says. “Being open to (or even inviting) ‘no’ is respecting the other side’s ability to make a choice. Often yes answers are actually maybes, and they also don’t give you information about the boundaries.

“A simple example: someone offers you £95,000, and you ask for £100,000. They say yes. What did you learn? Could you have asked for more? Should you have asked for something else instead?”

Mr Dos Santos claims that the key to asking the harder questions is being able to bring the person back after ‘no’. “Hard questions introduce tension, and your ability to ask them is gated by your ability to reduce that tension by making the other party feel okay/better,” he says. “Notice the focus on emotion.”

6. Give them options

“Humans have a basic need for autonomy. If our ability to choose is restricted, we rebel,” claims Quora poster Brandon Villano.

“Come up with a few options that are favorable to you, and give them the opportunity to select which one they want. This is very powerful because it makes them feel much more in control (while still satisfying your requirements).

“All in all remember it’s a win/win situation you are looking to achieve. You want the other party to feel good about the decision they made and happy that they got what they wanted. If you always come out on top with others feeling cheated, you build a bad reputation and this will make others wary of attempting a transaction with you.”

7. Fake empathy

“The other day a friend pinged me because he wanted a discount on an Airbnb rental,” writes Mr Dos Santos. “It was £2,700 and he wanted it for £2,000. Instead of just offering £2,000, which would mean the owner would have to fight an internal battle over what the place was actually worth, I helped him over-empathise with her.”

The friend drafted an email that read: “The place is gorgeous. I loved the photos and I would love to stay there. It’s probably worth more than £2,700 and your price is a steal. However, I’m on a company budget, and I can only pay £2,000.”

This is a counter-intuitive approach: this individual has admitted that the asking price is fair and even said that it might be worth more. However, by using emotional manipulation, he got his deal. “He didn’t fight her on valuation, and he made her feel good about the place,” says Mr Dos Santos. “He got the discount. £700 in 10 minutes with one email.”

8. Fix a deadline for negotiations to end

Rather than allowing negotiations to go on interminably, fix a reasonable deadline to get the deal done.

“It is very helpful to have some deadline/expiration date to create a forcing function for the negotiators,” says entrepreneur Kacy Qua. “If you are negotiating on behalf of an organisation and you come out of the negotiation too quickly, your side will think you didn’t put up a strong enough fight.

“Having a deadline also provides a point from which you can work backward, so that you can time the flow of agreements/proposal rejections.”

9. Volunteer for The Samaritans

“The FBI often trains hostage negotiators by sending them to crisis/suicide hotlines for a year,” says Mr Dos Santos. “This is a process I’m currently going through myself. Why? Because it’s the ultimate training ground for focusing on someone’s emotions, and moving them from A to B. And it’s hugely rewarding work.”

Source: How to Become a Killer Negotiator in Nine Steps

Critics by Barbara Thomas:

If you’re new to negotiation and The Black Swan Method™, the first step to becoming a skilled negotiator is enrolling in our online class, Negotiation 9™ (N9™). This class teaches the nine core skills that are foundational to becoming a world-class negotiator. Are you brand new to the N9? Here’s a brief primer on each skill:

Labels: It is a communication technique in which you identify emotions, dynamics, and motivations that exist in the conversation but have not yet been verbalized. For example, if your counterpart seems rattled and distracted, Label the emotions, and or the dynamics behind the behavior,  “It seems like you’ve got a lot on your mind.” “It seems like something of importance is distracting you.”

Mirrors: This is a technique in which you reflect the last 1-3 words the other side says with either an inquisitive tone or a declarative tone. If your counterpart says, You won’t be able to beat this price, you can Mirror™ the last 1-3 words, “beat this price?”, or even the last word, “price?” Your tone should reflect if you are Mirroring as a question or as a statement.

Dynamic Silence: You can use silence to create awkward tension that your counterpart fills with additional information. Dynamic Silence™ is best used in conjunction with other N9 skills. Simply count one one thousand, two one thousand in your head, and your counterpart will fill the air before you get to 10. If you go past 12 seconds, you’ve missed something important that your counterpart was trying to convey to you. Label this dynamic. 

Paraphrasing: Paraphrasing occurs when you take the other side’s words and repackage them so they know you’re listening

Summary: A Summary™ is a thorough synopsis of what your counterpart said. It’s so comprehensive that your counterpart has no choice but to respond with these two magical words: “That’s Right”™. 

Calibrated Questions : These questions begin with what, how, and sometimes why and are used to shape the way your counterpart thinks. For example, you might ask: “What is this going to look like moving forward?”? This is a thought-shaping question That directs your counterpart to a thoughtful response. Here, one-word answers won’t suffice.

I Messages: These messages are designed to help you draw a line in the proverbial sand with persistent, counterproductive behavior.. Here’s the formula: When you [do this counterproductive thing], I feel [like this] because [the reason the behavior is bad]. Here’s an example: When you consistently blow off our meetings, I feel like we’re wasting our time because it seems you’re not taking this deal seriously.

Encouragers: Encouragers are simple acknowledgments that prove you’re in the moment, such as nodding your head and saying mm-hmm. Encouragers keep your counterpart engaged in the conversation and lets them know you are listening.

Tone of Voice: They are playing an important role in negotiations. People are six times more likely to do business with people they like. An Accommodating tone, light and friendly, should be used for the majority of the negotiation. Shift to the Analyst, “Late-Night DJ Voice,” when you need to get a serious point across and when you make an ask. The Assertive tone should not be used during negotiations. An Assertive tone will come across as challenging and accusatory, not a good tone for negotiations.  

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Jenn Todryk Discusses How Community Is Key To Her Professional Success

Texas-born Jennifer (Jenn) Todryk is a self-made entrepreneur and author. She is also a working mother to three children under 10: Von, age 9, Berkley, age 7, and Vivi, age 3. The millennial mom graduated from Tarleton State University with a degree in fashion merchandising, but it was her blogging that led her to professional success in 2015.

Jenn’s personal brand “The Rambling Readhead” is rooted in authenticity, empathy, and transparency; it has seen exponential growth on Instagram and TikTok since she became the host and home renovation expert on HGTV’s No Demo Reno in 2021.​ More recently, Tordyk also launched her first podcast “You, Me, & Mike” with husband and business partner, U.S. veteran Mike Todryk.

Below Todryk discusses how her business began, the importance of home, and why relationships have always been key to her professional success:

Christine Michel Carter: How has social media helped your businesses?

Jenn Todryk: I started posting home decor and home renovation tips and tricks full-time in 2019 and gained an audience of over 1 million followers on Instagram within two years. Deciding to treat social media as a job meant posting twice a day, making video tutorials, and never taking a “sick day,” but that wasn’t a sacrifice since I genuinely love interacting with my community daily.

I feel very fortunate in this space; God has blessed me with such a wonderful group of people, and I will never take it for granted. I truly feel like this is my calling. I don’t know how all these amazing women found me, but I’m here until nobody wants to listen to me anymore!

Carter: Take me back to the “not so pretty” side of entrepreneurship. What did that look like for you in 2019?

Todryk: I started home renovating in my and my husband’s previous house. We navigated the entire process solo, learned many lessons, and shed blood, sweat, and tears. During the process I thought, if I could get people excited about their homes by showing mine, then I would be happy. Plus I’m a huge homebody. I feel like everyone deserves to love where they live, and it’s my mission to get them excited about where they do live.

Todryk: I am the only person who has access to my social media accounts and the only person interacting with my audience. I wanted to share my home design passion with the internet; I don’t want this to feel like a job with lots of employees or a large team of people. There is stress that comes with that, and I don’t have time to be stressed right now! I don’t wish to be a social media machine; I just want to love what I do every day and be a source of humor and joy in the process.

Carter: What does flexible work look like to you? What are some accommodations you’ve had to make as a working mom that your audience may not necessarily see?

Todryk: When filming, my work demands are higher since I must be on site to film. However, I decided to only film four days a week during season two of No Demo Reno. My entire life is not about filming a TV show; filming a TV show is just a small part of my life that existed before the show. I believe in setting firm boundaries and sticking to them. If I say I have to be home by 4:30, then I will be home by 4:30. Sticking to your boundaries is CRUCIAL to maintaining a healthy work/life balance.

Carter: What about childcare and “heads down” work time?

Todryk: I have childcare a few days a week, so I can take calls, have Zoom meetings, and knock out a few hours of focused work. I also have an assistant who has been with me for three years who helps with the upkeep of my blog (and feeds my toddler secret snacks and lets my dog out to pee very often). I feel super lucky that I was able to make a business that I can run primarily from my house.

Carter: What other projects lately are keeping you inspired?

Todryk: I love creating content and being the “weird girl” on Instagram and TV. In addition to the TV show, my coffee shop Armor Coffee, my website, and connecting with people on social media, my husband and I recently bought a brewery that will become Armor Brewery in Allen, Texas.

Demolition starts in a couple of weeks, and a large renovation is happening to get the brewery to our vision for our community. We always have stuff brewin’ (pun intended) and will more than likely discuss progress on our weekly podcast each Thursday.

Carter: Why did you factor the Texas community into the vision for the brewery?

Todryk: As a business owner myself, I love supporting businesses. The businesses that I partner with are great companies. I love getting to know the people behind companies and their stories and helping them grow. This job is super relationship-oriented, and I LOVE that! I love getting to know the people within my community, whether it’s a conversation through DMs or meeting them in person at Armor Coffee… or even Target!

Featured in The New York Times and The Washington Post, Christine Michel Carter helps women navigate the significant impact of motherhood on their

Source: HGTV’s Jenn Todryk Discusses How Community Is Key To Her Professional Success

Critics by Jeffrey Bussgang  and Jono Bacon

We’ve seen a precipitous decline in participation in civic organizations in recent years; membership numbers are down for religious groups, labor organizations and non-profits. A cynic could interpret these trends as a sign that we have all become digital hermits, with our noses buried in our highly personalized screens. The reality is that powerful communities are not just alive and well but also booming. They just look different than they did 50—even 20—years ago. They are organized around businesses and brands and providing profound opportunities for companies around the world.

Take Salesforce for example. While you might think its $140 billion valuation is due purely to its innovation of software delivered on demand through the cloud, it has also created a community of nearly 2 million members who support each other, organize events, produce content, and are a critical part of its global operations. This community is an international network of minds, talent, and time, all supporting the success of Salesforce. The company’s annual “Dreamforce” conference, which attracts nearly 200,000 acolytes to San Francisco each year, represents a mecca for its ecosystem to convene, build relationships, and advance its corporate agenda.

Other examples include Harley Davidson, which has created more than 1,400 local chapters around the world for enthusiasts to get together in person and discuss their bikes; Fitbit, which has a community of more than 25 million members, who share and refine their exercise regimes; and HITRECORD, which has brought more than 750,000 artists, writers, and filmmakers together to collaborate on productions, many of which have shown at Sundance. The list goes on.

While communities generate tangible value for businesses — such as content, events, online advocacy and marketing, technology production, customer support, and education — it is the intangible value that members derive from the experience that makes these environments truly “sticky.” Human beings are fundamentally social animals. Behavioral economics and psychological research have taught us that we fundamentally crave a sense of connectedness, belonging, mission, and meaning, particularly when performing our work.

Theresa Amabile’s The Progress Principle and Daniel Pink’s Drive both demonstrated that making progress towards a shared mission is the most motivating force a professional can feel. Communities deliver these benefits, creating a sense of shared accountability and a set of values while preserving individual autonomy.

A Superior Business Model

If a company can transition from simply delivering a product to building a community, it can unlock extraordinary competitive advantages and both create and support a superior business model. Specifically:

  • Enthusiastic members help acquire new members, resulting in lower customer acquisition costs and a tight viral loop.
  • Members are loath to abandon the community, resulting in increased retention and therefore improved lifetime value.
  • Members support one another, resulting in high gross margins due to a lower cost of service.

The result of this are very real network effects: as engagement grows, the community gets smarter, faster to respond, more globally available, and generates more value.

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The Business of Empathy: How Pharmacists Can Improve Performance By Improving The Human Connection

Covid-19 highlighted the value pharmacists provide in disease management and prevention, but it hasn’t been an easy road. Patients relied on their pharmacies for more services and support than before; however, the increased demand has stretched the capacity of many pharmacies. When patients don’t receive the support they need, medication adherence suffers, which directly impacts pharmacy performance. It’s a difficult cycle to break during a critical time for pharmacy business.

Pharmacies can build on the positive momentum gained during the pandemic to improve patient engagement and, relatedly, medication adherence. A familiar face close to home can help ease patients’ anxiety as they cope with a new diagnosis. Empathic support can also make a positive impact on medication adherence—a key metric for patients’ health and for pharmacy business success. But pharmacies will need an empathetic helping hand to provide this support.

Medication adherence is one of the key indicators of pharmacy performance. Unfortunately, pharmacies have a high barrier to overcome because about half of patients do not take their medications as prescribed. This lack of adherence leads to about $500 billion in avoidable healthcare costs and contributes to up to 25% of hospitalizations each year.

Nonadherence is infrequently caused by simple forgetfulness. Patients stop or never start taking a medication for many reasons, including:

  • They can’t afford it.
  • They don’t understand the directions.
  • They don’t see the need for the medication.
  • They’re afraid of the side effects.
  • They are worried, scared, anxious, confused.

Regardless of the cause, the outcome is the same: potentially compromised patient health and lost pharmacy revenue.

Who owns the problem of adherence?

Everyone owns the problem of adherence. Understanding that adherence is a complex problem, all healthcare providers must come together to solve the problem. Tackling adherence requires a fundamental understanding of the human factors behind the problem and the solution.

Pharmacist-provided care requires empathy and genuine human connection. Practicing empathy leads to innumerable benefits for patients, including better medication adherence, fewer hospital admissions, and lower stress—the latter of which ties to numerous health improvements.

Improving patient engagement is key to improving medication adherence, and thus improving pharmacy performance and profitability. Engagement beings with prescribers who start the dialogue around the benefits and risks of a prescribed medication, the possible side effects, and the cost.

Pharmacists must continue that conversation to help ensure that patients fill prescriptions and take medications as prescribed. Given staffing shortages, it’s not an easy ask. A lower-cost, empathic support program would help fill the gap.

Another important reason to focus on patient engagement: it ties to payment for pharmacy services. The Pharmacy Quality Alliance advocates for pharmacist-provided care as part of healthcare’s shift to value-based payment models. Operating models based on financially sustainable, pharmacist-provided care lead to improved medication adherence, PQA reports.

To improve business performance, pharmacies must also focus on patient satisfaction—an important factor in retaining existing customers and acquiring new ones. Pharmacies can improve both engagement and satisfaction with a subtle shift in philosophy, from patient-centric to empathetic care.

What is empathy in pharmacy? 

Empathy is the ability or capacity to understand or feel the patient’s situation, perspectives, and feelings. In other words, it’s the capacity to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. It’s a human connection that instills confidence and builds trust between two individuals.

Empathic care improves patient satisfaction. Here’s an example: a pharmacy customer is fuming because her prescription is delayed. The pharmacy tech understands the customer isn’t angry at her. She’s scared because she doesn’t know what will happen if she misses a dose of her medication. Rather than shut down emotionally and finish the transaction as quickly as possible, the pharmacy tech explains the reason for the delay. She relays the patient’s concerns to the pharmacist, who provides a missed medication protocol. The pharmacy tech also puts the prescription on an auto-refill plan to prevent future delays.

By practicing empathic care, pharmacies achieve better rapport with their patients, engender trust, and establish loyal customers. Loyalty manifests in a number of ways – from glowing reviews, to customer retention, new customer acquisition, higher quality ratings, and increased payment for services – all of which help booth the pharmacy’s business.

How to provide a more human experience through technology

While most pharmacies strive to provide attentive, empathic customer service, they’re also stretched thin. A recent National Pharmacy Technician Association survey found almost all (91.4%) pharmacy techs experienced burnout caused by unmanageable workloads. Another survey found most (80%) pharmacies have trouble finding pharmacists.

Technology that’s easy to implement and nonintrusive to workflow can lighten some of the load for busy pharmacies. Low-code process automation software can take on mundane repetitive tasks, including measuring medication, filling orders, inventory management, and notifying patients that their prescriptions are ready for pickup. Automating these tasks frees up staff to focus on higher-value activities, such as genuine patient communication.

Some pharmacists are using digital tools to provide supportive services to Medicare providers. Pharmacists can conduct virtual consultations to discuss new prescriptions, provide medication therapy and chronic care management, and other services “incident to” healthcare providers.

Research, however, shows that patients want to be seen, heard, and met where they are emotionally. Not “messaged” or “app’d” repeatedly, but actually heard. The very notion of health has evolved in the last few years, with a vernacular shift from “patient” to “person” as one example.

Technology can support a more meaningful human connection. Based on the data, would a patient need a follow-up call the day after she picks up her prescription? Would they appreciate a check-in call if they haven’t picked up a prescription after a few days? This type of simple check-in may open the door to deeper conversations about cost, administration, or side effects.  It may also provide the space for a patient to express their worries, concerns, or confusions about their treatment. Or it may simply trigger a patient’s memory.

Studies have shown that empathic, positive communication is associated with improved patient satisfaction and quality of life compared to usual care. An Accenture survey of nearly 1,800 patients found that the most important factor in creating a positive experience was a provider “who explains the patient’s condition and treatment clearly,” (55%) followed closely by “a provider who listens, understands patient’s needs, and provides emotional support” (52%).

Pharmacies can be instrumental in instilling positive behavior changes in the patients they serve.  Behavior is the result of our motivation, ability, and prompt.  When pharmacies engage on a human level with patient support programs, patients become more fully engaged in their treatment, leading to potentially significant health benefits. The human-to-human connection relieves patients from isolation,  gives them confidence in their recommended treatment, and ensures that humans remain first in the digital/AI age.

Empathy is Good Business

Developing meaningful relationships with patients creates an emotional bond that helps patients make lasting change—including taking their medications as prescribed. Empathy activates and moves patients from emotion to action. When that action includes more prescriptions filled and refills as directed by physicians, that’s good empathy-derived business.

Michael Oleksiw

By: Michael Oleksiw

Michael is a leader in technology development and product data on a global scale for over 20 years solving specific business and societal problems through innovation.

Source: The business of empathy: How pharmacists can improve performance by improving the human connection – MedCity News

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What The Joy of Dolphins Can Teach Us About Climate Solutions

On one of those beautiful, cloudless days the Bahamas are famous for, photographer Doc White and his wife, Ceci, dove into the Atlantic Ocean with an assignment to photograph marine mammals. What they considered a routine expedition soon turned into a moment they’ll cherish forever.

As they swam in the crystalline sea, they noticed a pod of spotted dolphins. Awestruck, they longed for a closer look but respectfully kept their distance. Then, something magical happened: The dolphins approached. They made a calm retreat, only to come swimming back moments later. This went on for almost an hour. “I’ve spent a lot of time in the water, and I had never seen that before,” says White.

The pair yearned for that dreamlike moment of physical connection, but resolved to hold out their hands and let the animals decide what to do. “Sure enough, they came up and started nestling against us!” White says, still excited by the memory years later. “Each dolphin acted a bit differently. Some would come very close and touch us; others, while obviously curious, would still keep their distance.”

White had always considered himself an ardent environmentalist and devoted advocate for marine life, but that delightful experience deepened his commitment to protect the natural world. He thinks that if those creatures can exhibit curiosity, playfulness, and joy, they must have other feelings as well — perhaps even an awareness of how the world they share with us is changing.

While we must be careful in viewing animal behavior through the lens of human experiences and anthropomorphic terms, scientists have used simple observations and rigorous testing to assess dolphin behavior. More often than not, their results show that the charismatic creatures exhibit what we’d recognize as joy.

Witnessing that has had a profound impact on White and others. Their close encounters with marine mammals have led them to believe that any solution to the climate crisis must include rethinking our relationship to the natural world. A long history of exploitation and extraction has given many people the idea that we live in a world apart from nature. But if dolphins can, like us, feel joy and other emotions, perhaps we are more connected to them than we realize.

And if that is true, perhaps the experiences and perspectives of the animals with which we share this planet should inspire and inform our climate work. “If you fall in love with a place or an animal and what it gives you,” says White, “then you owe it to that animal to share it with others.”

The secret lives of dolphins

A compelling body of research suggests that dolphins and other animals — dogs, chimpanzees, and elephants being perhaps the most mesmerizing examples — feel a range of sentiments long considered unique to humans, including joy, sadness, empathy, and compassion.  Of course, it doesn’t take a PhD in biology to know dogs are capable of unbridled happiness — anyone who’s watched one catch a Frisbee can see that.

Discerning emotions in cetaceans is a harder task, one Janet Mann, a biologist and psychologist at Georgetown University, relishes. Mann has long been fascinated by animal behavior and human interaction. She began her career studying primates but, intrigued by their complexity, shifted her focus to dolphins. “With dolphins, there’s a challenge of wondering what is going on in their heads because they don’t have facial expressions,” she says. “We have important dissimilarities, as well as important similarities.”

One of those similarities is remarkable intelligence. Dolphins recognize themselves when looking in a mirror. They can use echolocation to identify an object, then choose a matching object from an assortment of items. They possess sophisticated language skills, understand sentence syntax, and recognize the difference between direct and indirect objects. After homo sapiens, dolphins have the largest brains in relation to their body size. “Their brains developed to that size around 30 million years ago, and our brains only started getting bigger around 1.8 million years ago,” Mann says.

And like humans, dolphins are individual beings with distinct personalities. “When people say, ‘What are dolphins like?’ I’m like, ‘Well, what are humans like?’ It’s tough to give a general answer,” Mann says.” If you look at a crowd, you may observe a general behavior. But if you look at one specific person, you see something entirely different. That’s how we’ve come to study dolphins: as individuals.”

While it’s true many animals express what could be considered joy, dolphins and other cetaceans are perhaps the most relatable example because they are just so much, well, fun. Hard indeed is the heart that can’t see joy in their leaping from the water and crashing with a splash. These friendly creatures have been known to glide through the water among surfers, race alongside boats, and chirp or leap beside canoes. 

Elizabeth Henderson, a marine bioacoustic specialist at the Naval Information Warfare Center in San Diego, has seen the animals show compassion and even love. “Sometimes nursing females will adopt calves who have lost their mothers,” she says. “Females will babysit calves at the surface while their mothers forage. In matrilineal societies, such as killer whales, prey is often shared among a pod.” Few who recall the story of Tahlequah, the orca who carried her stillborn calf for 17 days as she swam 1,000 miles through Puget Sound in 2018, doubt she was expressing something akin to grief.

Observations supporting the idea that animals possess rich inner lives have helped spark an idea among a growing number of scientists: Instead of analyzing problems based on how we as humans see them, perhaps we ought to view them from another angle. Opening the lens to consider the perspectives of creatures that rely primarily on sound, or smell, or texture to make their way in the world may lead to new solutions to our most vexing problems, says Kelly Jaakkola, director of research at the Dolphin Research Center in Grassy Key, Florida.

The question, she says, isn’t, “How smart are animals?” but rather, “How are animals smart” — and what can they teach us? Dolphins are grappling with the myriad effects of their habitats getting warmer and more acidic, and they are showing signs of stress. The animals have been recognized as a sentinel species whose health and well-being provides key data for monitoring oceanic health. Fossil records have long shown evolutionary resilience and adaptation to environmental shifts brought by ice ages and other epochal events. But given the speed with which the climate is changing, such adaptations may no longer be possible.

‘We cannot just take, take, take’

Beyond the realms of biology and behavior, these marine species have long captured the hearts and minds of human observers. The ancient Greeks regularly depicted dolphins in their art, music, and stories. They believed the creatures danced to the natural rhythm of the earth, referring to them as philomousoi, which means “music lovers.” Bacchylides often wove tales of dolphins into his work, with humans leaping into the sea and resurfacing joyously riding dolphins.

Poet, climate activist, and 2021 Grist 50 honoree Craig Perez, who was born and raised in Guam, frequently intertwines his experiences with the cetaceans into his work, which includes a poem about Tahlequah’s loss. He believes that the sense of connection he feels to them and the creativity it sparks is vital to becoming a better, more conscious activist and, in turn, creating a better world.

“In many Pacific cultures, animals are seen as kin, gods, spirit guides, emblems, and nourishment, so they are treated with respect and reverence,” Perez says. “I have been lucky to swim and bond with many marine mammals. More recently, my writing has turned to issues of environmental justice and climate activism, because I became more conscious of how much our ecologies have changed for the worse.”

The shifting climate, coupled with the ongoing legacy of colonialism, has placed coastline communities and island nations on the front lines of this global crisis. They grapple with coral bleaching, diminishing fish stocks, and increasingly frequent storms even as they watch a rising sea reclaim the land they call home. genesis3-2-2-1

“Growing up on an island gives you a deep sense of connection to the natural world, to species, and to the ocean itself,” says Cliff Kapono, a professional surfer and chemist who lives in Hilo, Hawaii. “It also instills a sense of resource management. You begin to have this concept that we cannot just take, take, take from this place.”

Kapono has never doubted that we are fundamentally linked to nature, that it is as much a part of us as we are of it. His work as a scientist has only reinforced that belief. One of the first studies he participated in while earning his doctorate in chemistry required extracting a molecule from coral tissue.

As it turns out, the same substance is found within the human heart and lungs. From the heart of the ocean to the heart beating within each of us, we are, he says, truly connected to the world around us, and to the creatures with which we share it.

By:

Source: What the joy of dolphins can teach us about climate solutions – Fix | Fix

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