Empathy: A valuable skill for a Debt Expert


We have experienced debt at some point in time, but have you ever got a chance to discuss your financial difficulty with a Debt Expert?

If you have, you would have noticed that the person on the other side is very knowledgeable and an expert in the financial domain. However, just having financial domain skills would not be enough to become a Debt Expert. In this article, we will discuss why Empathy is a valuable skill for a Debt Expert and how one can assess and develop this attribute in an individual, whether a candidate or an existing employee.

During my interaction with Debt Experts at FREED. I have observed that they possess skills such as listening skills, interpersonal skills, and expertise in the financial industry. But the most important attribute I observed in them is being “Empathetic”. Employees with empathy and solution orientation are able to find the best possible solutions available for customers experiencing financial difficulties.

Empathy is a crucial attribute for a Debt Expert as it enables them to understand and relate to their customers on a deeper level. It is normal for people in debt to feel overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious. An empathetic debt expert can attentively listen to their concerns, acknowledge their emotions, and provide support and guidance. Furthermore, by demonstrating empathy, debt experts can offer advice to the specific requirements of their clients and collaborate with them to generate the best possible solutions. In conclusion, empathy is an invaluable skill for debt experts aiming to offer compassionate and effective financial guidance.

Furthermore, I would like to elaborate on how to assess and develop empathy in an individual. While empathy is a highly desirable trait for a Debt Expert, it is not easy to assess directly in an interview. Interviewers need to be more subtle, setting up scenarios, and asking questions that are not obvious. One can use the Behavioural Event Interviewing technique (BEI) to gain a better understanding of a candidate.

For example, One can ask questions related to how they have dealt with difficult situations. If the individual starts blaming others, it is a red flag. An empathetic individual will try to resolve the conflict and find a solution. This will also help you assess the problem-solving and conflict-management skills of a candidate. I have shared a few questions here:

  1. Check candidates' listening skills.
  2. Ask how they would react if a co-worker had a personal issue.
  3. Ask what they would do if someone on their team seemed distracted and unable to do their job.
  4. Ask what made them angry in their previous experiences and how they dealt with it.

Additionally, we can develop empathy in employees by giving them training, guidance and exposure to various activities. Cultivating empathy is not just about learning how to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. One needs to be good at:

  1. listening skills
  2. tuning into others’ feelings
  3. responding appropriately with verbal and nonverbal communication
  4. using empathetic language
  5. being patient
  6. ask relevant questions

There are several ways of building and developing empathy using adult learning methodology. We can give employees role plays, quizzes, and bite-size learning nuggets. We can make them listen to Audio or Video of customer experiences for kinaesthetic learning. Technology can be used to enable gaming programs in e-learning sessions. On-the-job training will enable employees to apply their knowledge from the sessions while coaching will give employees confidence to use this skill for a better customer experience.

In conclusion, Empathy is a key skill for a Debt Expert. This trait improves customer satisfaction & results, reduces stress and fosters resilience. Assessing and developing empathy in an employee is an investment to create a positive and result-oriented work environment. This will help in building strong relationships with colleagues, clients, and customers. This can be achieved by identifying candidates with empathetic traits during the hiring process, providing opportunities for training and coaching to develop empathy, and fostering a culture of empathy within the workplace. With the right approach, Empathy can become a powerful tool for driving success in the workplace.

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