Empathy in Organisations? It’s our choice.

Do you believe it’s important for there to be empathy in organisations?

Let me start by asking you another question? What’s the importance of self-leadership and what’s the link here?

Well if we don’t know our values, we can’t follow and uphold them. Our decisions and actions are less in line with what makes us happy in the long term. Sounds simple right?
And yet we all ‘choose’ to work with people and organisations that don’t follow ‘our’ values. Yes of course we have to live and make a living. So we compromise who we work with and what we do. But are we aware of the compromises and what they mean? We can’t complain about a world we don’t approve of if we don’t help mould it with everyday words and deeds. That’s a form or denial of our own power. And we are powerful. So let’s look at one of the most important human values – empathy.

And the reason I looked at this today? It’s that I just saw a list of the 10 most empathetic organisations on twitter. My mouth dropped open as I read this supposed list and saw monopoly after monopoly. Competition keeps business honest and we all know what ultimate power does, ultimately. Another company on the list has a mother company that has just perpetrated one of the largest industrial frauds on millions of its customers. It’s lied to millions of people. That is NOT empathy. Another company on the list has totally reversed its original values a few years ago that promised to serve the public and never sell them out. Can you guess who that it?

Make Bones Healthy

I think it’s long past time to examine the meaning of empathy for the organisations we do business with. We have the power of choice, just about although this is diminishing. It’s time to shine a light on and laud the truly ‘empathetic’ and promote them. We then promote the world we truly want to live in.

So here are a few Questions to help us think about whether an organisation is truly an empathetic organisation.

1. Does their purpose truly serve you or mankind in general?
2. Do their products and services make your life happier or more fulfilled in the long-term?
3. Do they make your day more efficient and less stressful?
4. Do they take criticism well and give great customer service?
5. They are absolutely not anti-competitive or monopolistic?
6. Do they give back a significant proportion to those that need?
7. If they’re a major supplier in a particular industry – do they fulfil their huge responsibilities to public needs to the best of their ability?
8. Do they treat their customers and suppliers with respect and fairness?
9. Are they mindful of and practice equality in recruitment, succession and the way they work?
10. Ask employees do they value and reward qualities of empathy and conscience as high as any other skill within their organisation

If we all make a few more empathetic choices in our day, our world changes, for the better, by tomorrow. Organisations must respond to our choices if they are to be competitive. And if they’re is no competition, does this serve us?