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Would you like to work with you?

Empathy is a key human trait. Societies, even in their most basic form, require us to be able to imagine life from another’s perspective.

But is it that simple? Is empathy something that we as humans do, or is it something that needs to be practised and a skill to be honed to improve outcomes?

Research and experience would tell us that it’s something we should focus on developing. I covered in previous emails how an employee’s health is affected by their manager’s empathy (I still find it fascinating that an employee with an empathetic manager will take fewer sick days—wow!). But today, I want to focus more on customer and stakeholder empathy—how often do you put yourself in their shoes?

What is it like to be your customer (internal and external)?

Is it an enjoyable experience? Could it be improved?

Or, is the experience so bad that you want to complain?

Unless your customers (and other stakeholders) are raving fans already, you and your team could benefit from being more empathetic. So take the time now to

  1. Put yourself in their shoes: While you don’t have to go to the extent of Patty Moore and physically recreate the customer/stakeholder experience (though if it’s feasible, do it), you can imagine what it is like—what is the experience of dealing with you like? As a customer? As a manager? As a team member? Run through these various perceptual positions and see where your (and your team’s) behaviour is spot on, and where it needs modification.
  2. Be real and present: Are you really listening? Do you see what’s going on? Being mindful boosts your empathy and thus your human connections—this leads to better relationships, and better results.
  3. Be likeable! People like to work with people they like. Boost your effectiveness by being likeable; one of the fastest way to do this is, you guessed it, by being empathetic. Ask your stakeholders how they are. Take the time to listen and understand what they are truly communicating to you—who knows what key information you’ll find out along the way.

With a little forethought and effort, you can dramatically transform the experience of working with you. If you need more convincing, or just want to know more, check out this TED talk, or get in touch and we can meet to see how you can boost empathy levels and client satisfaction in your team.


Our people were really motivated and ready for the challenge. We had great fun and an enjoyable afternoon. I’d recommend this to any business undergoing change and where there is a requirement to work well together.

Allison I’Dell, Sorcit