5 Characteristics of Humanitarians

Image of humanitarian for our article on 5 Characteristics of Humanitarians

5 Qualities of Humanitarians

  • Empathy
  • Compassion
  • Stamina
  • Communication Skills
  • Selflessness
There are many characteristics of humanitarians that set them apart from many people. They have chosen to walk a path that is different from day-to-day occupations. Humanitarians are those people who have taken a look at the world around them and made a conscious decision to do what it takes to help others, even at great personal and financial cost.

1. Empathy

One of the driving characteristics of humanitarians is a well-developed sense of empathy. A humanitarian sees a situation that needs to be addressed and can place themselves into those people living in the situation and feel how they feel. Empathy, as pointed out in an article in Forbes, is not a soft skill. Rather, it is a measure of strength within an individual to develop a strong sense of empathy.

2. Compassion

Compassion is an integral part of being a humanitarian. Whereas empathy highlights the understanding of a situation in need of solving, compassion is taking that understanding and putting it into action. Another characteristic of a humanitarian is knowing that feeling bad isn’t enough. Action needs to be taken to remedy a situation. This can be seen in an article in Entrepreneur which highlighted both Grand Challenges for Social Work and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and how these organizations were combining compassion with advances in artificial intelligence to bring about meaningful change.

3. Stamina

Working as a humanitarian is a path that requires a great deal of stamina. Unlike a nine-to-five occupation, humanitarians are often called upon to work incredibly long hours and under incredibly difficult conditions. Since much of the work deals with people in crisis, a humanitarian can often be found grabbing a few hours of sleep after staying awake and active for more than twenty-four hours.

4. Communication Skills

One of the most important characteristics of humanitarians is possessing strong communication skills. Humanitarians often are faced with incredibly daunting tasks and finding ways to take those tasks and complete them require working with a wide variety of individuals and teams. To have as little friction as possible, communicating in a clear, concise, and understandable manner is of paramount importance.

5. Selflessness

Being a humanitarian means surrendering things such as comfort and luxury and ego and simply stepping forward and helping out in situations that can be challenging and heartbreaking. The humanitarian sees a problem and simply steps forward to address it, not taking the time to think about how it might adversely impact them. Related Resource: 10 Best Online Degrees for Humanitarians Today’s world seems to have more problems than it ever has and yet, with every passing day, more and more individuals are stepping up to do whatever they can to aid in various humanitarian efforts. In many cases, humanitarians work behind the scenes doing some of the most thankless jobs and they do it because of their love for their brothers and their sisters.

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