Research consistently proves that empathy is directly linked to business success and profit. Studies correlating empathy with increased sales, with the performance of the best managers of product development teams and with enhanced performance, means organisations have to seek new recruits with healthy levels of empathy. Even though empathy is a soft, sometimes abstract tool in a person’s toolkit, it can lead to hard, tangible results. People who are naturally and consistently empathetic – the people who can easily forge positive connections with other, are people who use empathy to engender trust and build bonds. On the other hand, lack of ability to experience empathy is the reason for a lot of organizational based bullying, employee and team distress and failure to sell and retain clients.
Can empathy be developed in employees to increase sales and improve teamwork? Well, I have good news and bad news for you. The good news it is possible to teach someone to be empathic. The bad news is that they need to want to learn, as it takes practice and commitment to get it right.
Many people find requirements to be empathic as profoundly uncomfortable, but for most people it can be learned over time. Of course, some people do not have the capacity to experience empathy due to damaging events and insecure attachment to primary caregivers during infancy, and sometimes due to brain and genetic disorders. But for most people it is possible. Cultivating empathy has its own rewards: The more you do it, the better your relationships are and the more you want to continue. If you can see the problem from the other person’s point of view, you are much more likely to be able to get through the issue without conflict. Worth prioritising development of empathy in staff training? We think so!Back to Teams