The key to a beautiful friendship

Take a look into any school playground at the beginning of the school year and along with the half-mast socks and wonky school ties, you may also notice a whole host of burgeoning  friendship groups. Take another look over the gates at the end of term and it will be clear that while some of those relationships have stuck and are destined to become beautiful friendships, others are certain to be less enduring.

One of the most important skills we can teach our kids to help them withstand playground politics is a sense of empathy. Empathy; the ability to feel, understand and respond to what another is feeling, good or bad, is a core skill that endures from playground right through to the boardroom.

A vital foundation to understanding your customer is to develop a keen sense of empathy with them. By understanding their challenges and frustrations, and being able to feel as they feel – you will be likely to be able to add real value and offer them a service or product that truly resonates with their business needs.

Using core empathy skills learnt in the playground is key to building strong, long-term relationships with customers – and a brand or product that is built upon a foundation of empathy and understanding is one that will truly endure. Skipping ropes of course, are entirely optional!

<em>Image: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/128745475@N07/" title="Sinclair.Sharon28" rel="nofollow"> Sinclair.Sharon28</a> under <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/" title="Empathy" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">CC BY 2.0</a></em>

Empathy – Sharon Sinclair