YOUR EMPATHY PROPHET ™ - ISSUE 2/ NOVEMBER 2008 At Harding & Yorke we have spent time investigating the ERIC questions and their correlation with ROCE. Our research has led us to a rather unexpected conclusion - empathy appears to be a process in itself! EMPATHY FACTORS We identified four factors in the empathetic interaction: • Attitude • Understanding • Connection • Completion Attitude is the foundation on which all our interactions are built. The others are inter- dependent for success. Each Empathy Factor is made up of a mixture of skills and behaviours; let's take a brief look at each one. Attitude – excellent empathic interaction: • Interest in others • Desire to do a good job • Taking personal responsibility • Positive, can- do mindset • Energy & enthusiasm • Warmth & kindness • Openness & honesty You can't force your staff to have the ' desired' mindset, but you can recruit people with attitudes that best suit their roles and then nurture them. The result? They'll learn by example. I know one MD who spends time with " the most important employees in the organisation – the people who communicate with our customers". Business is booming under his leadership. It isn't rocket science; he just values his people and their opinions. Understanding – the empathetic approach: • Putting oneself in the other person's position • Personalised questioning to understand need • Active listening • Appreciating the needs of the individual Empathy is all about standing in someone else's shoes and respecting their perspective. It is vital to building rapport, so start by asking thoughtful questions and truly listening to what's being said. When someone makes the effort to really listen and acknowledge us, we feel special. If we want to improve empathy with our customers then we need to improve empathy with the people who deal directly with those customers. If our staff feel no- one is particularly interested in their day- to- day challenges - or ideas – this will impact on how they communicate with customers. Connection – flexing our style to achieve rapport: • Adapting communication style • Sharing knowledge • Checking understanding • Putting yourself out We build rapport quickly with people who have similar attitudes and communication styles to ours. Where there are differences, connection can be awkward. Some are natural rapport builders but for most of us it is a skill we need to learn. Thankfully, there are techniques we can adopt which enable us to connect quickly with most people. Completion – a mutually beneficial conclusion: • Ownership & responsibility • Clear outputs and expectations • Appropriate time given • Offer extra support and mean it Empowering staff to take ownership and make decisions may leave you feeling a little jittery but the positive affect it has on customer advocacy will far outweigh this. " Is there anything else…" is still a great way to bring the call to a close but only if it's said with sincerity. Otherwise - as our research proves - it has a negative impact. What matters is the outcome – how we interact and use our communication skills to build relationships with our staff and customers. The bottom line is that people won't always remember what you said – but they will remember how you made them feel. Caroline Hardwicke Senior Consultant Harding & Yorke Empathy Academy + 44 ( 0) 7979 632 761 22THE IDEA
© 2008 HARDING & YORKE 23 THE HARDING & YORKE RECRUITMENT MEDIATION SERVICE Harding & Yorke work with some of the most renowned and admired companies in the world on developing environments where Empathy can thrive. In the course of that work, we are fortunate to meet many like- minded people whose skills, experience and passion are key ingredients in achieving results. While many of these people are extremely happy in their current positions, some ( at different stages of their careers) seek either interim or full- time challenges with new organisations. Thus far, we have been delighted to introduce people to companies on a purely informal basis. We have done this only where we feel it appropriate to do so. With the launch of YOUR EMPATHY PROPHET ™ Harding & Yorke have decided to make this service more formal and invite companies to let us know of any positions they would like filled. We will be delighted to mediate introductions as and when they are suitable. Harding & Yorke offer this basic introduction completely free of charge although some rates may apply if interviewing or headhunting services are required. For more information or to let us know your requirements please contact: Caroline Hardwicke on: 07979 632 761 or email CH@ empathy. co. uk An experienced Contact Centre Executive is seeking a new challenge and role in the Midlands and/ or NorthWest having previously worked in Utilities and Mobile Telecos. Used to managing large budgets (£ 80m +) and has a proven ( and quantifiable) track record.