19 Nov Simon Sinek on Empathy
Simon Sinek is a famous motivational speaker and author perhaps most famous for his work on “Start With Why” – a message which encourages brands to focus on conveying their purpose to their target audiences, rather than focusing on “what they do” and “how they do it”. In this powerful talk, Sinek brings a different message on the importance of empathy – that is, the skill that leaders need to recognise and share in other people’s feelings.
Business leaders are not widely known for their empathy. Sadly, quite often CEOs and directors gain a reputation for focusing on profit margins, hitting targets and pleasing shareholders rather than showing care towards staff and customers. Yet Sinkey highlights how this is changing in many parts of the corporate world. Increasingly, business leaders are starting to see the value of empathy is engaging, retaining and increasing the productivity of their workers.
Many of us will have experienced the hardship of enduring a job that we hate. Perhaps the work environment was toxic or the management showed little understanding, flexibility or compassion towards your needs. Such an atmosphere typically leads to demotivation in our work and, given enough pervasiveness, can lead to feelings of distrust and lack of safety within the business. Before long, this lack of concern leads to underperformance, waste and high staff turnover.
Sinek proposes a better way – the way of empathy. For business leaders, he argues that: “It’s not about taking IN CHARGE, but about taking care of the PEOPLE THAT ARE IN OUR CHARGE.” Empathy creates an environment where workers feel valued and so are more likely to throw themselves more fully into their roles. In other words, empathy helps companies grow, succeed and rise out of difficulties in the long term.
Within the context of the 2020 pandemic, where leaders and workers have felt the need to rise to great challenges, this message surely needs to be heard more than ever. Ruling with an iron fist might feel more powerful to leaders and seem to yield results in the short term. Yet failing to make people feel wanted and appreciated does more harm than good as time goes on.
Watch this great video to find out more about the importance of empathy and how it could transform your workplace for the better.