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World Kindness Day 2017: Show some empathy

World Kindness Day 2017: Show some empathy

It’s that time of the year we celebrate kindness in society and day to day life. World Kindness Day takes place on the 13th November every year, when people are encouraged to carry out random acts of kindness.

Instead of just seeing it as a one-off day, though, we think business leaders should use it to inspire them to be kinder and more empathetic all-year round. Some of the best leaders have adopted an empathetic leadership style – including our very own Andy Nellis.

Another leader who has recently spoken about his compassionate approach is Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. At a promotional event for his new book ‘Hit Refresh’, Nadella is reported by Quartz as saying: “The value that I have learned to deeply appreciate and is something I talk a lot about is empathy.”

In the book, Nadella discusses how he has developed his sense of empathy – and how it has allowed him to tune in to the needs of customers.

“If I look at what is Microsoft’s core business, it is about being able to meet the unmet and unarticulated needs of customers and there is just no way we are going to be able to succeed in doing that if we don’t have that deep sense of empathy,” he said.

Microsoft has had to undergo something of a digital transformation of its own in recent times – under Nadella’s leadership – bringing new technologies like cloud computing and artificial intelligence into its suite. It followed a period of intense criticism, with suggestions that the company was lacking innovation and failing to move with the times.

The move has paid off. In 2017 alone, Microsoft’s shares have jumped 35%, the highest in the company’s 31-year history of being a listed entity. The turnaround is also inspired by the more transparent and open work culture that Nadella has built into the company, encouraging Microsoft’s 190,000 people to share their ideas.

Moving forward, Nadella says he will continue to work on his empathy and try to put himself in the shoes of all the people he works with or for. He believes that empathy is “something that needs to be developed”, rather than being innate.

World Kindness Day is as a good a chance as ever to put your empathy into practice.

Nadella’s people-focused approach is not dissimilar from e-Resolve’s. Whenever we implement technology, we try to see it from everyone’s perspective, not just the people making the decisions.

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