Empathy Is At The Heart Of Success

One of the key personal characteristics of successful leaders and business owners is empathy.

Your ability to perceive the emotions and thoughts of your employees, customers and peers will directly influence your effectiveness and help make you more creative and valuable as a professional.


Because client satisfaction is often a result of how well you’ve met their expectations. And to the extent you understand and can manage their expectations, you increase your odds of keeping them happy.

It also makes it easy for you to develop rapport with customers from all walks of life, if you approach each interaction with empathy.

What Improved Empathy Looks Like

  • You are able to respond appropriately and effectively to others, no matter what the situation.
  • You’re able to form meaningful and multifaceted relationships –both personally and professionally.
  • You understand the motivations, perspectives and values of the people you work closely with.

As a small business owner you’re bombarded with input from many different people – customers, potential customers, past customers, employees, vendors, and even family members. In order to successfully navigate these minefields of conversations focus on improving these skills.

Skills To Improve Your Empathy

  • Listening – Truly listen with both your ears and your heart. Don’t be thinking about the next thing you’re going to say. Instead, make sure you understand what the other person’s words are saying, as well as what they might be communicating to you silently (read between the lines).
  • Emotional Intelligence – Improve both your self-awareness and your self-control. Learn how to recognize what emotions you’re feeling and what triggers you. Then, instead of reacting to those feelings or triggers, use your empathy to choose the best response.
  • Be Humble – Take every opportunity to shine the spotlight on others, and away from yourself. Give others credit and make others look good whenever you can. When it comes to employees, praise in public (criticize/reprimand in private).

Running a successful business requires managing complex and delicate relationships and situations. Increase your empathy and you’ll find that you can create positive outcomes from even the most challenging circumstances.