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What is empathy really?

By Bonni Kaplan DeWoskin

I have been thinking a lot about empathy recently. What does it mean to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and why does it matter?
Well, my belief is that no matter your role, empathy is everything. It is the difference between speaking at and speaking to your intended audience. It is the difference between getting lost in the crowd and having your message break through.
Empathy does not always come easily or naturally. Stepping into other people’s shoes to get a real understanding of what it is like to be them is hard. I believe it is well worth the effort and the only way to be a truly successful leader, communicator, and yes, marketer.
The next time you are speaking to an audience in any form, take a step back. Make sure you know exactly who your intended audience is, what motivates them, what challenges they face, what things are important to them and why what you are trying to communicate should matter to them.
Doing this consistently will break through the clutter, produce loyalty and lead to greater success.