Could empathy be the key for the business to unlock competitive advantage or does it compromise efficiency and performance?
Empathy is a hot topic in business. Just google it and you will find many articles highlighting the benefits for innovation, employee engagement, customer satisfaction, organisational learning and financial performance. However, apply with care. Empathy may also have opposite effects if it comes at the cost of tackling sensitive issues that are critical to delivering results.
Empathy can only be effective if leaders enact it authentically. And irrespective of its potential benefits, for some people empathy is too touchy-feely. Often the perspective prevails that emotions should stay out of business.