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Sunday, August 26, 2018

Podcast, Book: Applied Empathy

Empathy is always a good idea, with customers, clients and colleagues.   But how is it best applied?

Author Michael Ventura talks about his book, 'Applied Empathy. From K@W

Michael Ventura is quick to dismiss the notion that empathy is some touchy-feely emotion that makes leaders seem soft. In business, he argues, empathy is what can help a company vanquish the competition, gain loyal customers, retain innovative employees and elevate itself from good to great. Ventura, founder and CEO of strategy and design studio Sub Rosa, has put the lessons he’s learned from working with major brands into a book titled, Applied Empathy: The New Language of Leadership. He recently joined the Knowledge@Wharton show on SiriusXM to discuss why this particular emotion is becoming paramount in the business world.

An edited transcript of the conversation follows.

Knowledge@Wharton: When did you start to see empathy as an important element in leadership?
Michael Ventura: I think that it really was a slow burn for us. It wasn’t a thunderclap kind of moment. We went back and looked at about five years’ worth of work that we had developed and asked, what made all of this work well? Why was this work landing for our clients in such a way? When we dug into it deeply, we started to see it’s not about sitting in a room and shutting the door and getting high on your own supply. It was when we got out of the building, got into the minds of the people we were trying to reach and really took their perspective, really got into their shoes and saw the world from their standpoint. When we did that and brought that insight back, the work got exponentially better. We latched on to it at that point and started to make a practice and a methodology around it.  ... " 

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