That's different than having the ability to have empathy for others. It is an every day, every minute state of being. I'm not just able to understand how someone is feeling; I actually feel it as if it's happening to me, if someone is in pain it hurts me, and I want to take that pain away. Being an empath means I'm susceptible to unhealthy relationships and being taken advantage of, but it also means I'm kind, I experience joy when other people triumph and I am able to make genuine connections very fast.
It took many experiences positive and negative through my adult years to realize this about myself and come to a place where I embraced it. I had to decide that if I was truly going to live, I could no longer shield myself from the the emotions that were not so pleasant to feel, because otherwise I was just a shell of who I truly am, and the people I care about and myself would never benefit from the many positive aspects of being an empath.
Being a very logical person, I had always thought it was that part of my personality that was going to get me ahead in business. It was not until I embraced my emotional strengths and let the two work together that I experienced true success.
OK, so we aren't all empath's... And even using a little empathy can be scary, because emotions sometimes are negative, or the connection they bring may not be something you have the energy for. So we avoid communicating with emotion, especially at work.
Many of us operate with two personas, one for home and one for business. We stifle our true selves in professional settings, but by doing that, we also stifle creativity, happiness and true connections.
Now, what do you feel? Can you use your emotions in a positive way to be successful?
In a study conducted by Pringle and Field using the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising database, it was found that advertising campaigns with purely emotional content performed about twice as well (31% vs. 16%) than with those with only rational content, and those that were purely emotional did a little better (31% vs. 26%) than those that mixed emotional and rational content.
There is a difference between being emotional and feeling and understanding other people's emotions. The difference is in how you respond. Being emotional is about you, being empathetic is about them. It is far easier to get your point across in a board room with colleagues or in your marketing to your target market when you recognize how the person you are talking to feels about the matter at hand.
Let's use marketing by way of networking and the difference between "people skills" and empathy as an example; imagine you are at a networking event and you are approached by someone with people skills and then by someone using empathy. How do you think that those conversations would differ?
- People Skills is the manipulation of someone's personality type and saying the right things to get them to realize they need what you are offering.
- Empathy is making a real connection by finding out what they feel are their needs right now, letting them know you understand and being honest about whether or not you can help.
Both approaches are effective, but with both trust has to be gained in order to turn the acquaintance into a loyal customer. Empathy gains the trust right away.
84% of millennials don’t trust traditional advertising. Hubspot
48% of Americans expect brands to know them and help them discover new products or services that fit their needs. Crazy Branding Stats
80% of consumers said “authenticity of content” is the most influential factor in their decision to become a follower of a brand. Crazy Branding Stats
What if your marketing met people where they are, understood their feelings and spoke to them how they want to be spoken to? What if it was about them? You might not have to advertise as much as you do... and the rewards for being genuine would come quicker.
If you have found that your stand-by advertising has grown stale or it seems to be falling on deaf ears, however scary, it may be time for a change in your approach.
I have developed a consulting process to guide you through tapping into the emotions of your target customer to create content and marketing that speaks to them in a manner in which they want to be spoken to. Contact me about my Online Marketing Consulting and let's meet your customer where they are today.