Empathy is a major differentiator between the traditional process methodologies of Six Sigma, and I say this tongue–in-cheek, Lean. Many times when you review Design for Six Sigma, Lean Startup, Lean Product Development, and Lean Design (the list goes on), seldom when you search (like never) the index of the book will you find the words Empathy. I think that is a major difference in Design Thinking, Service Design and as I like to call it, EDCA.
That word empathy is a hard thing to practice. Some people may say you are born with or raised with it. I think you can acquire it, but it takes a different set of listening skills than most of us develop. In the book, Real Influence: Persuade Without Pushing and Gain Without Giving In, the authors introduced me to the Ted video below. In this demonstration, deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie illustrates how listening to music involves much more than simply letting sound waves hit your eardrums.
To truly understand and connect with others, we need to hear the music they hear and take time to appreciate it, even if it’s not our melody we’re hearing ourselves.
Listen both what they say and how they say it – their tone, pace, pitch, volume, variability, and rhythm. Also, in every important conversation you have to ask yourself: What is not being said?
Craig is the founder of The Weber Consulting Group, an alliance of experts committed to helping organizations and teams build their capacity for engaging tough, wicked, adaptive challenges. He’s consulted to an expansive roster of world-class clients, helping them improve their performance by treating dialogue as a discipline. His unique work is outlined in his ground-breaking new book,Conversational Capacity: The Secret to Building Successful Teams That Perform When the Pressure Is On.
Craig offers excellent advice and material on the most basic way of creating success, our conversations. I thought there were several gems in the book, and one chapter offers one of the most practical descriptions, and as a result, understanding of double loop learning that I have read.
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Craig has worked with leaders and teams from such diverse organizations as Boeing; Boeing Defence Australia; The Royal Bank of Canada; NASA; Clif Bar; Los Alamos National Labs; NASA; Novo Nordisk; The CDC (The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention); Pfizer; Vistage: An International Organization of CEOs; legislators from the states of Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Colorado; Suncorp Insurance & Finance (Australia); and The Upper Valley Waldorf School.