When Caleb and I wrote Futureproof, we came up with a model for helping to implement change. For each force in Futureproof, we created a small action plan for individuals to get started on their transformation. The model is called a Slice of a PIE:
It starts with bringing the disruptive force into one’s personal sphere. Secondly, one must evaluate how to bake it into the organisation. Lastly, you should look for ways to implement empathy toward/with the external stakeholders. The opportunities to improve your business performance with empathy are wide open.
So, in honour of the completion of my latest book, Heartificial Empathy, here’s a Slice of PIE for the superpower, Empathy.
Taking Empathy Personally
One of the interesting things that I wanted to explore in the book was the different forms of empathy, including self-empathy. Here are three ways that you can personally develop your empathic muscle.
- Practice self-empathy, which is described by Marie Miyashiro as the process of emptying “our own thoughts to connect with our own feelings and needs.”
- Read good fiction (you can also watch well-made films) to see through the eyes of others.
- Seek out strangers. Talk to people from different walks of life. For example, stop and talk to the cashier at your local supermarket. Or find out the life behind the driver of your Uber…
Establishing an Internal Culture of Empathy
- Align your North. This is a process of establishing your “why” and making sure your team are all on board. The #1 fans of your brand need to be your employees. Click To Tweet
- Do an honest audit. How empathic is your organisation? How do you or could you measure your internal empathy? This takes a good deal of self-awareness among the leadership. As we know, culture eats strategy for breakfast. Click To Tweet
- Observe. Get out and talk with/observe your customers. One of the best sources of customer feelings is through customer service. You can also watch them in action in stores. Or if you’re online only, ask friends to check out your site (ideally with an objective) on their devices.
Taking your Empathy Externally
- Link to Strategy. Link your efforts to be more empathic to a strategic objective. For example, how can empathy help to increase customer acquisition or enhance innovation? In which case, it becomes clearer why the organisation and people need to change behaviours and attitude.
- Coherence. Make sure you treat the individuals (employees) serving your customers at the coalface the same way you expect them to treat your customers.
- Artificial Empathy. If you want to create more empathic chatbots, it will be very important to set up your ethical framework in advance. Just how far do you want to go?
Of course, I’d love to encourage you to order my new book on Amazon as an ebook or paperback!