Empathy: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another… as defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Empathy is a crucial component of your business. You can’t really regulate it. It’s not something you can easily teach. Yet without it, you are isolated from your team and your clients.
Empathy is the ability to understand others; to feel what they feel; to sympathize and show compassion; and to observe the world through their eyes.
In the most basic sense, if you weren’t empathetic, you would set your business up just like you think it should be, with no regard to the feelings or needs of others. If you are a hunter, you might put trophy heads in the conference room. If you are athletic, you might keep your running gear by the door to the office. If cleanliness is not your forte, you might see little advantage in keeping a clean office or entry. You wouldn’t care how a client might feel about the price of a project. And you wouldn’t be able to see why each client’s project is so important to the client.
Earl Nightingale, one of the earliest leader in the personal development field, once said, “Treat every person as the most important person on earth. To them, they are the most important person.” That’s empathy.
A few weeks ago I went to an open house for an apartment complex. The experience was a complete disaster, starting with our approach to the complex. As we arrived at the site we noticed that one lane of the two lane road was blocked off in front of the building. There were no signs for the open house or directions. We turned up the steep pot-holed road beside it and stopped to consider where to go next. A man on a Bobcat carrying gravel noticed our confusion and asked us if we were there for the open house. Yes we were, we answered. He said to park on the road above the complex. It’s blocked off at the end, so don’t worry about traffic. This particular road had a deep rut in the middle which he was filling. The area was dusty and dirty. We parked next to another solitary car and got out. We noticed a bridge from the road to the complex that had balloons on it. That must be the entrance. The bridge was decked in rough, uneven boards, which I suppose were temporary. We entered a wide dark hall. At the end of the hall was a folding table with brochures. A lady greeted us and took us into the model. The floors were unfinished hardwood. The room was unfurnished, hot and dirty. There was a stacked washer/dryer in the middle of the living room floor. The lighting was very poor, so we couldn’t see everything clearly. Add to all this a fire detector with a low battery emitting an ear-piercing beep every minute. As I looked at the cabinetry, I noticed that paint had been dripped on some of the doors. We went out on the balcony to see what the view was like. As I leaned over the metal railing, my palms stuck to the railing. Wet paint!
I had one more obstacle though – backing out around other cars and not falling in the rut. Finally made it and we were out of there.
How much empathy do you think this developer had for his prospective clients? He couldn’t have said, “I don’t care what my prospective clients think about me or this project” any louder if he shouted it in our ear.
Try to understand your clients. Each is individual. Take each one case by case. How do they see your office, your home office, your website, your appearance? Being empathetic is not giving up who you are. It is merely acknowledging others for who they are. And in business this is paramount.
Wishing you the best of fortune, Randall
Randall S Soules
Remodeling coach, adviser, and educator
My one-on-one coaching will take your remodeling business to new heights!
This article was written by Randall Soules, creator of the Scientific Remodeling System, showing you easier ways to advance your business, raise your profits, and improve your life, through the use of superior remodeling processes. If you would like to learn more about this eCourse, click here.
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