Trust is society’s glue. For people to live and work together, to feel safe, and to feel like they belong, they need trust. When trust is absent or weak, things fall apart. And yet no matter where you look today, trust is being called into question. Whether it’s within government, business, the media or even between one another, poll after poll shows that trust is in decline and the fabric of society is being eroded.
According to PEW research, in 2019, the majority of Americans believed that trust in government and each other was declining, and that the news media and government were withholding important information.
Traditionally, technology has been one of the most trusted business sectors, but with data misuse, tax havens and fear about automation, that’s changed too. In 2019, “techlash” [Strong and widespread negative reaction to the growing power and influence that large technology groups hold] was runner up for the Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year.
So, if trust is on the decline, how do you rebuild it?
When UBER needed to address trust, they turned to Harvard Business School’s Frances Frei. According to Frei, trust has three components:
- Authenticity — Are you being yourself?
- Logic — Can you communicate your logic?
- Empathy— Do you get me? And do you care about me?
There’s been lots written about the value in bringing your whole self to work. Whether it’s presentation training or advertising, businesses are well invested in communicating clearly.
But according to Frei, the hardest piece of the puzzle is being empathic. To actually take the time and invest the emotional capital to care, understand what the world really feels like to others, and express that care is hard.
So, what to do about empathy?
We adapt tools from design thinking for client leadership and sales, enabling you to deeply understand your clients’ world and reach a consistent point of empathy for them.
But while design thinking is typically used to build products and services, we apply it to help you design the best possible human interactions with your clients.
Our methods apply constraints, forcing you to consider your clients’ world fully before bringing you and your offer into the equation. In less than an hour’s immersion in your clients’ world, you’ll move beyond assumptions to a deep understanding spanning industry, business and a client’s personal traits.
How empathy leads to trust and to a better world:
- Client engagements are more thoughtfully designed, encompassing understanding for the client’s profile and viewpoint, as well as your own commercial objectives.
- This leads to conversations being better qualified, more enjoyable for the client and sales team.
- This leads to trust, and in turn client satisfaction, retention and growth.