SUBMITTED BY Jamey Biegener, APPSC

It’s easy to overlook empathy in the business world. People often become too focused on the “problem/solution” side of work. We see a problem, and we try to fix it. But the human element is a fundamental and critical part of successful business practices. Empathy is a vital part of what we do and the services we provide at DataServ.

2019 Client Focus GroupYours truly 😊 leading a recent DataServ focus group to collect feedback and understand the challenges faced by our users.

When we build a new product or make updates to our current platform, it ultimately doesn’t matter what we think is best. What matters is what our users think is best; their challenges and successes drive our business decisions. We want to know what they value and how our solutions can exceed their expectations.

It’s more than just listening to our users, though. It’s seeing their day-to-day tasks through their eyes and understanding challenges from their perspective. It’s about hearing their feedback – both good and bad – and using that to make changes or provide additional services. That’s how we build trust with our clients.

It’s important to us to continually hone our empathy skills. Here are five tips we use at DataServ to become more empathetic, collected from the CEO of Mindmaven, an executive coaching firm and educational platform:

1. (Actively) Listen More Than You Speak

Commit your attention to the conversation, and let the speaker speak. Don’t interrupt. When they’re finished, summarize your understanding of what they said and ask further questions for clarification.

2. Express Your Perspective

Once you have an understanding of their experiences, share how you would feel in the same situation. Don’t just say what you think they want to hear. Commiserate with them genuinely.

3. Be Vulnerable

Share your own insecurities and mistakes from times when you’ve faced similar situations. You’ll never have all the answers, and sharing your vulnerability builds relationships and fosters bonds.

4. Don’t Make Assumptions

“Assumptions are the enemy of empathy.”

Don’t assume you understand a challenge when you haven’t faced it exactly as another person has. Don’t force or jump to conclusions; if your understanding and empathy isn’t genuine because you’re trying to draw parallels that aren’t there, you’ll negatively impact your relationships.

5. Use Your Imagination

To avoid making assumptions or jumping to conclusions, use your imagination to understand their perspective and build a connection.

Our goal is to build connections with our users and truly understand them. That principle is woven through all of our practices, from focus groups to product releases.

Do you want to share your feedback with us? We’d love to hear it. Contact us.

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