Empathy is hot in business wisdom these days: Forbes says it’s invaluable, Apple’s training manual offers empathy exercises, and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson calls caring “key.”
“Corporate empathy is not an oxymoron,” concluded an article in the Harvard Business Review on January 8. “It is a hard skill that should be required from the board-room to the shop floor.”
Indeed, fellow-feeling has come to be seen as a means to a better bottom line. An empathetic customer service representative creates customer loyalty, while an empathetic manager creates engagement and employee loyalty—deeply necessary in a world where 70% of workers say they are not enthusiastic about their jobs, reports Forbes.