Why Empathy is Key in the Tech Economy
If you type the word “empathy” into Google, it will show “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another”. Professionally, working in tech recruitment for many years, I have spoken to a lot of developers as well as clients from various industries that aim at hiring tech people.
In this article, we are going to discover why empathy is key in tech economy and how do we go about it. Ready? Let’s dive in…
Technology is still driven by people
Be it Software Programmers, Product Owners, Business Analyst or UX Designers, they are all people that help drive products or services forward to the end users, who are also people. Good communication requires empathy, so management needs to understand what it requires for your technical team to thrive with given projects and requirements under specific timeframe. You must consider if the timeframe is realistic and if the technical team know the business inside out to create the right solution.
Technology builds the economy, and the economy is built from trust
Trust is the very core of our economy. Without trust there wouldn’t be any business! People buy from people they like, and it’s not hard to see why people respond so well when the service or product provider empathizes and offers them the best of the best, and when I say the best, I mean, knowing your customers. How do you know your customers? Listen deeply and just let them tell you where exactly they want their problems solved.
Users are in the driver’s seat
That’s why we have user experience design, and why the data industry is exploding. Users are the indication whether you are heading in the right direction, from proving concept to the feedback phase. Empathizing helps you understand user personas, how they live their lives and where can you come into the picture. Data Scientists can collaborate effectively between technical and business teams while also understanding how to solve business problems.
Apart from trust, we are all naturally drawn to people who are like us, whoever that person might be, whether they’re your colleague, supervisor, clients, or candidates.
The key is, when you’re showing that you’re trying to understand their feelings and situations, by putting yourself in their shoes, by researching thoroughly about the company they run or work at, by asking follow up questions, you will in one way or another, be able to relate to them on a much more personal level, and trust me, they will feel it too.
It’s free yet holds so much value
Empathy is mostly innate. There’re various studies on whether it can be taught, or you’re basically just born with it. Personally, I think on a certain level it can be understood by majority of the people on this planet. It’s one thing we hold true and dear, yet sometimes we take it for granted and have to pay a high price for forgetting to convey or show this ‘free’ feature of ours…irony huh?
Since each of us has different ways of communicating and understanding, everyone has different approaches in making sense of things, as well as perceived values. It is therefore important for us to ask further questions if we still don’t understand, so that we can truly understand the needs and wants of our end users, teammates, the businesses, and ourselves, because there’s one thing we all have in common – we yearn to be heard.