Running a business is complex, so we have to set up lots of processes to manage the complexity, and automate as many as we can so we've got time to focus on the important stuff.
That 'important stuff' more often than not is 'people', and understanding what's going on with people takes more than measuring statistics.
Spreadsheets and charts aren't much good at predicting what someone is going to do next, or why they are behaving the way they are.
For that, you need to understand how that person is feeling. Their emotions drive their motions.
Having a clear sense of how someone feels, is vitally important to you as a business leader if you want them to do anything.
But talking about feelings doesn't sit well with most business advice and training. The vast majority of business operations seem to be trying to override or manage the downsides of emotions, rather than recognise and use them.
John Knights from LeaderShape explains clearly in the article below why empathy is a crucial part of entrepreneurship and driving business performance.
Well worth a read.
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There are many misconceptions about the meaning of “empathy” and a general lack of understanding of how one can develop it. In short, Empathy is “Sensing others’ emotions, understanding their perspective, and taking an active interest in their concerns.” Do not confuse empathy with “sympathy” which is about sharing emotions. Empathy is not about agreeing or sharing, it is fundamentally about understanding.