5 Key Takeaways to Apply Empathy to Your Business


Michael Ventura of Sub Rosa has an arsenal of tools and techniques for what he calls Applied Empathy. By using Applied Empathy in your business you can design solutions, spark innovation, and solve tough challenges with empathy at the center. We sat down with Michael to chat about his top 5 takeaways on empathy.

1. Empathy is not about being nice, sympathetic or compassionate. These are however, frequent side effects of using empathy as powerful perspective taking tool. Be mindful of the distinction and ensure that others around you also know the difference.

2. Applied Empathy is not a process. It's a series of tools and methodologies designed to help you practice empathy and integrate it into your daily leadership style. Explore the ones that work for you and make a habit out of using them often so they become second nature.

3. Empathy is a muscle you train. It takes practice and dedication. Give yourself the challenge of practicing with something like the Empathic Archetypes for 30 days in a row. This sort of repetition builds memory.

4. Organizations that bring empathy into their business practices improve their internal culture, relationships with consumers, and, ultimately, their bottom line. Take a look at your own business and identify the place you think empathy is needed most and start there.

5. Practicing empathy requires the bravery to ask hard questions, take new actions, and change what must be changed in order to improve a business, a team and yourself. Consider what hard questions you aren't asking yourself or others and make an effort to get out of your comfort zone so that real, deeper understanding can be attained.

About Michael: Michael Ventura is an entrepreneur, creative director, and author of Applied Empathy. In 2009, Michael founded Sub Rosa, a award-winning strategy and design practice that helps leaders and their organizations explore, learn, and grow. Sub Rosa's clients include a variety of Fortune 500 companies (GE, Google, Marriott, Nike), the United Nations, the Obama Administration, and some of the world's most progressive start-ups (SoFi, Warby Parker).

Tia Meyers