What do you feel when you read about Malaysia Airlines MH370? When you heard about the murder of police officers Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes? Or when Roy went to collect Hayley’s ashes?
Well if you already raise money for or donate to Forever Manchester it’s a fair bet that you’re experiencing empathy – that you have the capacity to recognise emotions of others and you have the ability to experience genuine sympathy or compassion.
The economy has caused many organisations to reassess the way that they work, but it seems that hardly any energy has been expended on one of the keys to success: empathy.
Sure, charities and community projects are all about empathy and the people who provide those services are always focused on helping others. But real, deep empathy is more than shedding a few tears, charitable work and good intentions, it’s the ability to lose your ego and walk a mile in somebody else’s shoes and your ability to understand and care about stuff that actually matters.
Unfortunately, that empathy seems to evaporate when we get together in our organisations and we start thinking corporately or ‘professionally.’
We lose our intuition and our gut feeling for what’s going on outside of that group, in society, in the real world… You know the one we all live in. Our places of work start to feel disconnected from the practical concerns of everyday life – it’s like a virtual world where who we are in the outside world doesn’t matter.
But if organisations are going to survive and thrive in the future we’re going to have to seriously think about the role that empathy will play in this success. If our real world is going to survive and thrive we all need to fine tune our empathetic skills into educated insight and we’ll need to trust this intuition to help us make better decisions that affect the folks around us.
Nick Massey – Chief Exec