The superpower we call empathy

Developing real empathy allows us to become incredibly relevant and meaningful to everyone we engage. That helps us do some pretty amazing things. It’s like developing a superpower. Here are a few examples of what empathy can help us do:

  • It can help us deliver worthwhile help to our customers. When we understand what challenges they face, we can develop the things that are truly useful.
  • It can help us identify those things that are genuinely valuable to our prospects. We spend less time talking about things we think are important and more time on the things that are important to our potential customers.
  • It helps us build collaboration among our team members. Empathy opens us up to considering lots of different points of view. It encourages participation among everyone on the team.
  • It helps us develop products that are naturally useful. We don’t have to convince people to learn to value our offerings. If we are designing with empathy, the value will be readily apparent.
  • It helps us create experiences that are irresistible. Empathy helps us understand what gets people excited. With that insight, we can deliver experiences that delight our users.

Taking the advantage of empathy to the next level

Developing empathy opens up lots of advantages for us. Perhaps most impressively, it helps clear the way to discovering and bringing to life a Big Audacious Meaning - the difference we will make in a life, a community, or even the world. I wrote about this recently:

To take on such an exceptional purpose naturally requires nothing short of an equally exceptional amount of empathy for those we hope to serve. If we really want to make a difference, we must have genuine understanding of what they face and how they feel.

In today’s fast-paced environment, it is too easy to feel like we cannot afford to spend the time it takes to develop real empathy with everyone we engage. But when you look at what it can help us do, it should make us ask, “Can we really afford not to work on our empathy?” After all, would we really deny ourselves such a superpower?