It’s been a crazy couple of weeks.

Look, there’s no way to sugarcoat it. Things are really tough right now for just about everyone, everywhere.

The virus, the economy, the chaos, the uncertainty.

People are scared for their health, their jobs, their families…the list goes on and on.

As a business leader, there’s one main idea I want to communicate.

The most important thing you can have in business right now is empathy. 

Empathy for your clients.

For your team…for your audience…for your prospects…for your coworkers…you get the picture.

It really doesn’t matter who you are – whether you’re a business leader like me, a salesperson, a recruiter, an HR professional, or anything else.

No matter the role, company, or industry, our success over the next few months will be largely determined by the amount of empathy we show for others.

Empathy is Key to Building Great Long-Term Relationships 

You may have heard the saying “people won’t remember what you did, but they will remember how you made them feel.”

That’s an incredibly important message for all of us right now.

This will pass with time, but in the meantime, things will be very hard for a lot of people.

And when business picks up again as normal (which it will, sooner or later) people will remember how we treated them during this incredibly stressful time.

We have a choice.

We can be the person that panics, treats others with disregard and focuses on our own interests above all else…

Or we can be the person that shows empathy and serves as a beacon of kindness, compassion, generosity and especially courage for others.

Whichever you choose, rest assured that people will remember how you acted.

Positioning Ourselves for Long-Term Success 

In a lot of recent conversations, I’ve stressed the idea that businesses need to look beyond this current crisis.

Sure, we have to watch out ourselves in the short-term…but we also need a long-term plan!

This virus and economic slump will pass with time, and when it does, we want to be able to flourish rather than stagnate.

Our ability to excel will largely depend on the quality of our relationships with our employees, clients, and prospects. There’s a reason why our company’s motto is “it’s all about the people!”

If we go into pure survival mode, fending for ourselves and cutting losses ruthlessly, we risk enormous damage to our employer brand, our company culture, the quality of our services or products, and so forth.

Acting With Empathy 

So next time you feel yourself getting impatient with a client, coworker or team member, take a step back and remember that they’re probably under a lot of stress.

When we go to draft our sales emails or call a prospect, let’s keep in mind what they’re going through and ask ourselves if our product or service really helps their situation.

If we need to make cuts – and many of us will – we need to ask ourselves if we’re doing our best to take care of the loyal, hard-working employees who have helped us succeed. Even when we’re making hard decisions, there’s room for compassion.

Tough situations have a way of bringing out the worst and the best in people. The strange silver lining to this whole debacle is that if you can genuinely help someone right now, they will remember it for years. It truly is an incredible opportunity to forge new relationships and strengthen existing ones.

Where there is change, there is always opportunity. If we do the right thing and lead with empathy, I truly believe we can make the most of this crappy situation!

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