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  • Mary-Louise Marshall

Why Empathy is Important in Your Business


What is empathy?


When the word “Empathy” is mentioned it can denote notions of touchy-feely, right-brained stuff. However, basically, it is the awareness of the feelings and emotions of other people. It is a key element of Emotional Intelligence, the link between self and others, because it is how we as individuals understand what others are experiencing as if we were feeling it ourselves.


How does empathy contribute to success?


Within a business environment it is important to value others, to focus on individual uniqueness, and to provide an environment of empowerment and engagement. An empathic leader creates security and improves employee satisfaction. Rather than focusing on “getting good people” an empathic business owner and leader focusses on providing an environment that encourages individual growth.


Outside the business, developing empathy can help you develop and market products and services for your customers. Observing how customers use products and services, and listening to them talk about what they need, can make coming up with these ideas easier.


It’s important to take the time to talk with customers and employees and understand their view of the business. Employees are generally at the front line of a business, and customers are the source of profits, so understanding their experience is vital. When a business owner takes the time to listen and take into account the concerns and insights of customers and employees, they can gain valuable information which they can then implement in their business strategy.


Showing empathy to the individuals connected with a business will go a long way toward growing a business’s name. Now more than ever it’s important to have a deeper purpose for the business. If you look around you will see businesses that focus only on the profit they can make with no thought given to the impact their business decisions have on others. The businesses that will thrive are those that make the effort to understand their employees and customers and to give back to those who support them.


The most successful business owners incorporate elements that aim to improve human relations and foster a positive image of the human spirit. To accomplish this, it’s important that a business has a vision for the future, and not just in profit projections. The business should have a greater purpose that takes into account relationships with their employees, customers and the world in some aspect. When a business empathises with a need in the world, it can provide a solution that meets the needs of many. A side effect of this are the large profits generated.


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