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Empathy Can Be the Number One Growth Catalyst for Your Business

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World Leaders, Innovators and the greatest thinkers of today’s times have hailed empathy as a wow factor and now the world is giving empathy all the credit it deserves. The dawn of the 21st century has moved the spotlight on Soft Skills. The world is racing at a supersonic speed piggybacking on the bandwagon of technology is now going gaga over a skill set that has proved to be a game-changer of sorts. The 4-Cs of the 21st Century: Critical thinking, Communications, Collaboration, and Creativity have not only changed workplace dynamics but also individual narratives. 

Defining Empathy 

The not so new but now extremely honoured member in the team of must-have skill sets is Empathy. According to the Encyclopaedia of Social Psychology, “Empathy is often defined as understanding another person’s experience by imagining oneself in that other person’s situation.”  

When one is talking about empathy, the term sympathy often pops up in the conversation. Sympathy means that you have been moved or feel a rush of emotions because of a person or an experience. Empathy helps an individual to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. It helps one to stay there and see where it pricks the most.   

Shreeya Pande, Head of Business Development at Jagarmanacha, an excellence Centre in Maharashtra works with a lot of youngsters helping them shape their lives. Shreeya explains empathy beautifully. “Holistic growth is never ‘alone’ it’s always coming in ‘collective’ sense. According to my, Empathy is getting into the shoes of the other person and thinking about the situation and see things from their perspective.” 

Research backs empathy 

Research shows that empathy is a key ingredient for establishing strong professional bonds as well as maintaining healthy and harmonious personal relationships. Psychologists and Mental Health professionals too have high regard for empathy. According to them, individuals who have high levels of empathy are more likely to function well witnessing stronger social circles, cultivate emotional bonds and have more satisfying personal relationships. Empathy is the lens through which one can have a better view of things while understanding the perspectives, needs and limitations of others in the picture. The golden rule is treating people the way you want to be treated.  

When we ask children what their favourite subject is, the answer is most likely to be based on how much they like the teacher teaching a particular subject rather than the interest they have in the subject. Like Harper Lee, author of the bestselling book, To Kill a Mockingbird puts it, “Are you proud of yourself tonight that you have insulted a total stranger whose circumstances you know nothing about?”  

How Do We Empathize?  

Sucheta Gauba, Founder of Sucheta Gauba, a clothing brand that promotes sustainability has a personal experience to share. “I truly believe every garment has a story and that hands and souls are putting together a piece of happiness and pure joy. How beautiful one feels is subjective but the only thing that stays constant is empathy towards who is wearing it and most importantly who is making them. The movement who made my clothes in the sustainable fashion industry is an inspiration how empathy is the focal point around which every garment’s story is written.” I remember on the 17th day (I started working at 17) of my journey as an entrepreneur my dad told me, “If you want happiness in your work, you ought to keep people around you happy,” she adds. 

“When you start to develop your powers of empathy and imagination, the whole world opens up to you.” – Susan Sarandon

Here are a few signs you are an empathic person: 

  • You care deeply about other people.  
  • You sometimes feel overwhelmed in social situations.  
  • You have a knack for picking up on how people are feeling.  
  • You are attuned to the feelings of those around you and people value you for that.  
  • People seek your counsel and advice.   
  • You are a patient listener.   
  • You try to reach out to others who are suffering.  

The world needs more empaths. There are too many intelligent people around anyway.  

Here is how to make empathy work as a catalyst for your Business:  

Make Empathy your middle name

An organization that humanizes and does not just monetize its relationship with its clients, makes a lasting impact. Make your customers feel heard and cherished. Use social media to create a presence and a brand value on genuine empathy so that your clients and potential customers resonate with you. 

Empower your Manpower

Let your team ideate more often. Most of the time, our teams are better engaged with customers and connect to them on an emotional level much more than we do. Their ideas might have the potential to drive in results and revenue. Empathise, Empower and Encourage your team to share their ideas and point of view. Provide them with the resources they need to make things happen. When an employee knows a manager or their boss has their back… they will take that leap.

Because it is just not a Cause

The customers today are informed netizens who are sensitive to global issues. They have a mind of their own and proactively share their views on social media. If customers see a brand supporting a cause or a brand drawing light on an important issue, they connect with the brand, at a more personal level. E.g. When Brands like Reebok, L’Oréal, P&G and Netflix supported the cause ‘Black Lives Matter’, they gained tremendous traction and love from netizens.

Reflect and Re-analyse

Reflection plays a pivotal role in developing empathy. When a team gets and sits back together and reflects on approaches and mechanisms to analyse what worked well for the organization and what did not. Every member gets an opportunity to witness things from the other person’s perspective. One certainly cannot reflect objectively without having empathy for others. Empathy is the building block of positive action.    

Satya Nadella says it the best, “Empathy makes you a better innovator. If I look at the most successful products, we [at Microsoft] have created, it comes with that ability to meet the unmet, unarticulated needs of customers.” 

Parth Shah (parth.shah@devx.work) Co-Founder, COO DevX accelerator. With 10 years of experience in operations and training, Parth is a go-to person for his team and even a multitude of growing start-ups. His knack lies at spotting and supporting start-ups, helping them streamline their processes and even take their ventures to the next level. After successfully establishing two start-ups and exploring the start-up landscape up-close Parth has learnt the nitty-gritty of the industry, which he now shares with fellow entrepreneurs.

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20 Ways You Can Become a Powerful Communicator

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Emile Steenveld Speaker and Coach

Some people seem to naturally know how to effectively communicate in a group setting. They can express themselves clearly and listen attentively without dominating the conversation.

Being a powerful communicator is important for several reasons, including building and maintaining relationships, achieving goals, resolving conflicts, improving productivity, leading and influencing others, advancing in your career, expressing yourself more confidently and authentically, and improving your mental and emotional well-being. Effective communication is an essential life skill that can benefit you in all aspects of your life.

But, don’t worry if you don’t naturally possess this skill, as effective communication is something that can be developed with practice, planning and preparation.
 

1.  Listen actively: Practice active listening by giving your full attention to the speaker and responding to what they are saying.

 

2. Use “I” statements: Speak from your own perspective and avoid placing blame or making accusations.

 

3. Avoid assumptions: Don’t make assumptions about what the other person is thinking or feeling.

 

4. Be clear: Express your thoughts and feelings clearly and concisely by getting to the point and avoid using jargon or overly complex language.

 

5. Show empathy: Show that you understand and care about the other person’s feelings.

 

6. Offer valuable insights: When speaking in a group, provide a valuable takeaway or actionable item that people can walk away with.

 

7. Be an active listener: Listen attentively and respond accordingly, incorporating your points into the conversation.

 

8. Choose the right time: Pick the most opportune time to speak to ensure that you have the group’s attention and can deliver your message without interruption.

 

9. Be the unifying voice: Step in and unify the group’s thoughts to calm down the discussion and insert your point effectively.

 

10. Keep responses concise: Keep responses short and to the point to show respect for others’ time.

 

11. Avoid unnecessary comments: Avoid commenting on everything and only speak when you have something important to say.

 

12. Cut the fluff: Avoid being long-winded and get straight to the point.

 

13. Prepare ahead of time: Sort out your points and practice them before speaking in a group.

 

14. Smile and be positive: Smile and nod along as others speak, to build a positive relationship and be respected when it’s your turn to speak.

 

15. Take responsibility: Take responsibility for your own actions and feelings.

 

16. Ask questions: Ask questions to clarify any confusion or misunderstandings.

 

17. Avoid interrupting: Allow the other person to finish speaking without interruption.

 

18. Practice active listening: Repeat what the other person said to ensure you have understood correctly.

 

19. Use your body language too: Use nonverbal cues such as eye contact, facial expressions, and body language to convey your message and build rapport.

 

20. Be aware of the tone of your voice: it should be calm and assertive, not aggressive or passive.

 

By keeping these tips in mind, you can improve your communication skills and become a more powerful communicator, which can help you build better relationships, achieve your goals, and lead a more fulfilling life.

I you want to learn how to become more confident in life then you can join my weekly mentorship calls and 40+ online workshops at AweBliss.com so you can master your life with more success.

 
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