Skip main navigation

Empathy Conclusions

Conclusions from the empathy exercises.
Picture frame with words 'Home Sweet Home'
Just as in any working relationship, we can’t expect personal assistance relationships to run smoothly all of the time. We’ll talk later about reconciling differences and mediation, when it’s needed.

A key principle is to respect difference – respect the personality and values of other people. Be prepared to accommodate difference, whether in personality, culture or lifestyle.

A key way to avoid conflict is to get the right ‘match’ in the first place. This means:

  • Vetting at the beginning of the PA role – understand your own expectations, values, and limitations; make these explicit; ask your potential worker or employer to do the same; seek to work with those with whom you have affinity.

  • Probation’ – a probationary period may help to 1) avoid practical conflict i.e. ‘make sure they can do the job’; and 2) avoid personal conflict ‘make sure we get on’.

Personal differences are more important the closer the relationship is. For a ‘staff’ type relationship, there is considerable privacy, and you are less likely to have a clash. When people become more friendly, they share more of their lives, and the differences between their values can become evident.

© University of East Anglia
This article is from the free online

The Role of Personal Assistants in Disability Support

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now