Empathy is a strong emotion of feeling what others are feeling by putting oneself in their shoes or situation. It’s also one of the most valuable entrepreneur skills. In business, empathy is often overlooked. Some even regard it as a sign of weakness. Contrary to this opinion, being empathetic improves the productivity and growth of a business.
Of course, there are times to be stern when addressing issues that may affect a business. However, showing empathy involves understanding the true feelings and situations of a person in a bid to offer practical help. For example, giving sincere commendation to an employee feeling undervalued doesn’t stop you from correcting such one if lateness is becoming their habit.
As an entrepreneur, everyone you interact with most times is crucial to the growth of your business. Let’s look at each category of people you interact with and why you need to understand them for your business to grow steadily.
Employees are an integral part of a business. You need to understand their feelings and view of the business. Take the time to speak to your employees. Doing this helps you understand their views and this in turn allows for progressive planning.
There is no such thing as “a perfect employee”. To state the fact, employees can not always please or do exactly what an employer expects. In such situations, resist the urge to use punishments as a corrective measure. Remember that a happy employee contributes to the success of a business.
So, rather than punishments, use positive reinforcements instead. For example, when an employee makes a mistake or fails to meet expectations, try this: first, commend the employee for past hard work(be specific with your commendation and it should be honest). After this, point out the mistakes and the changes you want. Think of it too, which would you prefer? An honest commendation followed by reprove? Or corrections followed by punishments? Now you see how empathy works.
In dealing with customers, avoid the urge to simply chase profit. That’s a wrong approach to business. Customers must know they are getting value for money and what better way to do that than understanding their wants. Here’s where empathy comes into the picture. Interact with your clients, see how much the services you offer benefits them, and what things to improve. Think about it, how would you feel if a service provider stops delivering the quality for which pay? You most definitely will look for an alternative.
In the same way, you’ll want value for the service you pay, so will your customers. Keep in mind that a happy customer guarantees profits and continuous growth. Happy customers stay loyal and direct new people to your business.
A quick question, how would you feel if you invested in a business and your concerns are never considered? Always consider the interest of investors. Endeavor to regularly communicate so that they can air their grievances and opinions. To feel involved and valued is natural. Given this, show how much you value investors, and don’t feign it. Honestly care about their feelings because sometimes, it is not so difficult to see through pretense.
“Value first and profit second”—this is the watchword for many businesses around the world. Incorporating this mentality into your business is an excellent way of showing empathy. Don’t just squeeze the society dry to rake high profits. Ensure that as an entrepreneur, your business is providing value to the society.
A business that last long builds up the society. Do the same to keep your business thriving and functioning for generations. Let your vision as a company focus on continuous improvement of services to better serve the society. When this comes first, attendant benefits like profits and reputation follow easily.
Under the umbrella of adding value to society, improvements in sales may also suffice. Empathy bolsters innovative solutions; it helps a team of service providers to develop solutions that will benefit many and bring about profit. Additionally, satisfied customers may through their satisfactory remarks draw more people to also patronize and turn permanent patrons.
More Helpful Entrepreneur Skills
Never underestimate the power of empathy in business. To be a successful entrepreneur, it’s an important skill that drives businesses forward to deliver quality service and consequently enjoy profits. An increase in client base is yet another benefit coupled with satisfying investors in the business.
In the aspect of employee productivity, offering practical assistance be it verbal compliments or material incentive goes a long way to show you care, and improves overall productivity. Lastly, remember that empathy in no way holds you back from doing the necessary—which may be to give reprove. The only difference is that the manner of approach will be different. True, it’s not easy, however, cultivate empathy as a skill important for entrepreneurship.
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