Empathy matters

Would you believe me if I told you that if your organisation developed more empathy, it would boost business? Over time, there will be an uplift in all the following areas:

  • morale & loyalty
  • innovation and productivity
  • company culture
  • customer relationships
  • competitive advantage and revenue.

Empathy ranks highly in my “must have” top set of skills, with Listening being the most important (and is a precursor for empathy).

What is empathy and why does it matter?

Can you put yourself in someone else’s shoes and see life from their perspective, feel what they feel – even for an instant? If you can then you have some degree of empathy.

If you are unable or unwilling to do so, then you have another skill: the ability to push people away. Do that often enough and people won’t come back!

Think about that logically for a second. Who are you pushing away? Are they colleagues, business partners or even customers?

Anti-empathy in action!

Once I was at a preliminary meeting of several businesses that were seeking to put together a joint bid. The meeting started well until one person had to prematurely leave due to a childcare issue.

We all understood, but that person received a shocking dressing down from their boss in front of us. It was unpleasant to behold and the person was visibly upset and humiliated. The boss continued his rant after the person had left.

My feedback afterwards was to find another company: if they treated their own staff like that, how will they treat the other consortium members and the project itself?

Others were willing to overlook the incident and keep going with the bid. But it fell apart as the boss pushed everyone away one by one. It was excruciating to watch, but inevitable in my opinion.

Can empathy be learned?

The simple answer is yes! It is a valuable skill and can change your life. Contact me to get started!

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You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.

~ Rabindranath Tagore