Join Me in Making 2014 the Year of Empathy

As you may have read in my customer experience trends for 2014, I’ve labelled 2014 as “The Year of Empathy.” Hopefully many, many people will embrace the concept of empathy within their organizations and not just treat it as the word du jour. To help in the effort, I’m going to make empathy an ongoing theme in this blog.

Here’s my challenge to everyone reading this post: Join me and the entire Temkin Group team in making empathy come to life within your organizations. As a start, watch and share this video by the Cleveland Clinic: Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care.

The bottom line: If you could stand in someone else’s shoes would you treat them differently?

About Bruce Temkin, CCXP
I'm an experience (XM) management catalyst; helping organizations improve results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. I enjoy researching and speaking about these topics. I lead the Qualtrics XM Institute, which is the world's best job. We're igniting a global community of XM Professionals who are inspired and empowered to radically improve the human experience. To achieve this goal, my team focuses on thought leadership, training, and community building. My work is driven by a set of fundamental beliefs: 1) Everything starts and ends with human beings, so you need to understand how people think, feel, and behave; 2) XM is a discipline that needs to be woven throughout an organization's entire operating fabric; and 3) Building the XM discipline requires a combination of culture, competency, and technology.

7 Responses to Join Me in Making 2014 the Year of Empathy

  1. Great idea Bruce. I’m actually writing a blog post at the moment about the importance of empathy in business and life. Our ethos at the Happy Startup School is very much about empathy in business – for employees and customers alike. Plus it’s one of the proven keys to happiness 🙂

    If you agree, then make a pledge on our happifesto!

  2. Burt Rosen says:

    This video is incredible and i’ve shared it with my entire company. Absolutely agree that this should be the year of empathy. well said!

  3. Wow. Should come with a warning label: “Emotional response likely”. : ) When we invite empathy in, we must also be willing to accept the emotions that follow. Look out business world, you’re in for some awesome transformational change. Congrats to all those who contributed to this production. And Kudos to all who follow this mantra. I call it CLIENT EXPERIENCE 2.0.

  4. Alain Hui Bon Hoa says:

    Great topic Bruce. I totally buy into the importance of empathy in business and life. BTW, I just finished a nice book called “Wired to Care” which makes the case for empathy in business through many nice stories from Microsoft, Nike, Harley Davidson, …

  5. mcgntr says:

    The Cleveland Clinic video was tremendously moving. A strong introduction and challenge to all to make the year one of empathy. Thanks

  6. Janet says:

    Bringing empathy to life in organizations is a great idea – so how do you do it? I believe it takes a lot of hard work, and the leaders of an organization have to show their employees how they can use empathy to drive their bottom lines. Adding empathy training would be a good start. Adding it to people’s goals – so they are motivated – that would help too.

    I’ve been working hard to bring empathy more attention and I’m so glad to see more people working on this! I wish you and everyone here the best of luck.


    • Alain Hui Bon Hoa says:

      Nice point Janet.
      As part of a Design Thinking training I attended (Design Training is a human-centered innovation method highly relying on empathy to gain customer insights), we used improvisional theater exercises. That worked very well both to warm up before a creativity session and to get you focused on paying attention to others and accepting their ideas. We’re not too far from empathy here.
      We had our Sales Leader and our Ops Leader in the training and they both concluded that similar exercises would be very useful for their staff.
      So an idea to promote empathy in an organisation might be to use impro as a team building tool with the Leadership team, and hopefully have them buy into deploying with their teams.
      I’d be happy to hear about other best practices to promote empathy.


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