Better listening, better empathy, better business

by Laurent François
Empathy in a carton

A very intesting point of view of Def Patnaik focuses on the necessary empathy we must have because of the crisis:

“While that might be true, such talk tends to focus on design or even flashy marketing. In the process, a critical factor gets left out of the conversation: empathy, the ability to see the world through the eyes of another person. Unless new products or services connect with the lives of real people, design or marketing can’t do much to make them succeed.

When organizations develop a shared and intuitive vibe for what’s going on in the world, they’re able to see new opportunities faster than their competitors, and long before the rest of us read about them on the Internet. They have the courage of their convictions to take a risk on something new. And they have the passion to stick with it even if it doesn’t turn out right the first time. Despite years of hype, the problem with business today isn’t a lack of innovation; it’s a lack of empathy.”

Spontaneous conversations happen online. We first have to listen, then we potentially can take the mic on answer to people’s rising questions.
How to do that? First, as Thien mentions: “As we all could have noticed, it’s not so easy, especially when you have to listen carefully all the protagonists who orbit around your work environment : your boss, your colleagues, your customers, even so all the persons who can improve your skills and understanding of your business.”
But like a foreign language, you can learn all those new languages, all those new needs, all those new expressions. Because even if it sounds a bit crappy at first sight, most of the time out of the dirtiest bar you suddenly get the more valuable insights. Hey, remember last time your beloved restaurant bartender told you about a fantastic shop for your mobile phone? It works the same online: don’t be posh, don’t limit your mind to what you already know: be curious.

As Susan Pascal Tatum said this morning, don’t waste what you’ve already got or what is very close to your hands:

“If you’re one of those businesses that has a bunch of inactive prospects sitting in a database (or on your desk), you may be better off nurturing those people than paying to find new ones. And nurturing leads can be a lot less expensive than generating them in the first place.”

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