There’s this common game where different emoticons are presented and students are asked to tell a story of the occasion they had such kind of facial expression. So let’s have a little exercise. In the next minute, close your eyes and recount an occasion where you wore a sad face, then remember another occasion where you had a huge smile on your face. I can bet you are still smiling after the second memory. So tell me, which of the feelings do you like better? Of course, every normal person prefers to be happy than sad. Having this simple fact at the back of your mind is so powerful because it changes everything and affects the way you deal with people.
It is as simple as this: If you could always take a moment to imagine the expression that would likely be on your face if someone treated you the way you plan to treat others, you would probably rethink certain actions. If you can always put yourself in the shoes of others, you would be more cautious with your actions. Let us try to paint a little picture. Imagine if a loved one was in the hospital and you quickly rushed to the ATM to get cash to fund the bill, only to be stopped by armed men who stripped you of your entire dime. The question is how would you feel?
At this point you might be wondering; “why all these morality talk and what does it have to do with your career or business?” Well, be informed today that EMPATHY is also a business strategy. As a business man, the best way to thrive is to give your customers what they need and not what you want them to have. Empathy helps you to know this. For example, it is rainy season and Mr. Obi does not own a car. Since he has to go to work every day under the rain, he will definitely need an affordable umbrella; hence, I will sell one to him. Well, it would have been great to sell him a car but having put myself in his shoes and considered the amount of salary he earns, it would be stupid of me to offer him a Range Rover.
It sounds like simple logic right? But the truth remains that thousands of businesses close up everyday because of lack of empathy – inability to put oneself in customers’ shoes and provide what they need, when they need it and at the price that they can afford. May I remind you that customer is king and no business can exist without them? Yes! This applies whether one is selling a product or rendering a service. You can also look at it this way. Imagine if someone rendered a terrible service to you, would you return there? So why are you not rendering the best service to attract more customers? Keep that as a food for thought.
“Okay, on the other hand, what does empathy have to do with one’s career?” If this is your next question then read further. Do you know that as an employee you perform better when you put yourself in the shoes of the business owner? If the company was yours, what time will you want your staff to come to work; would you be fine with laziness; would you want to keep paying the salary of an under-performing staff? If the answer is no then you would want to give your best to your current company. The unitary school of thought suggests that in an ideal work environment, everybody works towards a common goal because the success of the business translates to the success of the employees as well.
Empathy is that powerful, it cuts across everything you do in life including your online presence. If you can put yourself in the shoes of others, you would be more cautious about your updates and you will be more accountable on social media. It is commonly said that ‘you do to others what you want to be done to you’. I will only add today that beyond a regular advice, it is an awesome way to build your business and career. So, start being empathetic!