As I was watching this short video by Dr. Linden Brown who is speaking at our Customer Centric Leadership conference, I was reminded about the importance of empathetic leadership.

Having lived in India for many years, I sympathised with the millions of people living in poverty. I gave money to the poor when I could. But I didn’t really know what it was like to be without any money until I almost ran out of cash myself. My business was facing a acute cash crisis.

And that’s when empathy hit me. To know what it’s like to be broke, I had to be broke.

TFE Hotels recently ran a great program “Walk a Day in My Shoes” where employees swapped roles and got a different perspective on what it’s like to do someone else’s job. A brilliant way to cultivate empathy in the workplace!

With all this talk about customer centricity, how can we empathise with the customer, if we haven’t empathised with our own stakeholders and colleagues?

Do you really know what does a day in the life of your Finance, HR, Marketing or IT leader look like? What about the customer who doesn’t return your calls? Or the executive who you don’t really like but have to work with?

And most importantly, what does being compassionate with yourself look like?