“Empathy is about understanding, seeing the world from other points of view and helping form insights that can lead us to new and better ways of thinking, being and doing.”
So says Michael Ventura, author of Applied Empathy and founder of Sub Rosa, a strategy and design firm that helps complex corporations and progressive thinkers evolve their business with empathy.
This sounds great, right? But perhaps it’s a little too far out there to really grasp how this book, and the work of Sub Rosa, could be relevant to you and your organization.
Let’s put it this way, Ventura is doing what is long overdue: shining a light on the very thing that we not only crave in our relationships but also in the organizations with whom we interact—empathy.
Imagine if your local retailer were to listen deeply to what your needs were and then create an inviting and rewarding interaction each time you entered the store. Imagine walking away from that experience feeling valued and listened to with your needs answered to the best of their abilities. That is the fundamental principle of Applied Empathy.
Ventura’s company and clientele, which include big names like GE, have seen huge impact in profits when they approach their work with applied empathy as a guiding principle. But Ventura didn’t happen upon this idea lightly. No. Rather, it was birthed during a freak accident where in his healing process he “discovered the sacred wisdom of indigenous cultures and found a new path of integrating this wisdom as fundamental into this practice of empathetic methodology.”
Don’t let me lose you here. This approach is exactly what we—the customers—crave. Being fully present and mindful of the customers’ needs and wants is a lost art in the business world. It’s so simple in its logic yet evidently so complicated in its application or we would see more of it on a routine basis.
“There are countless instances in the business world where companies have missed the opportunity to apply empathy, many of them paying dearly for the oversight.”
Applied Empathy presents a set of tools and ideas for unleashing the incredible benefits that come from this approach. This book provides the inspiration, understanding and map for infusing applied empathy not only in your organization but within your team, as a business owner or even to attract new opportunities as a success-minded professional. In other words, everyone who is looking for new (and ancient) wisdom on how they can grow professionally will gain from this book.
Image courtesy of Simon & Schuster