Magid’s Beth Miller on the power of empathy in the workplace
Magid’s Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer Beth Miller studied human-centered design in school and started her career working for Ann Bancroft as she made her way to the North pole. Since then she’s worked for big brands like Disney, Allianz, United Healthcare and now Magid. Her background has given her a unique perspective on how people work and the power of empathy in the workplace.
Miller recently sat down with The Business Gist which interviews local business owners and leaders on their perspectives of the human side of the bottom line and is hosted by Megan Effertz, Minnesota Business magazine’s Executive Editor. Listen to The Business Gist podcast below.
Why do you think empathy is important?
I think that empathy is extremely important because it helps us step away from who we are and step into someone else’s shoes. There’s a lot in that dynamic. It’s so easy to fire off a tweet or fire off a response. But truly trying to hone empathy means that you have to pause and recognize where you’re coming from–you have to step into their shoes, try to imagine where they’re coming from and try to recognize that you can’t possibly understand exactly where they’re coming from. You have to try to see it from their perspective.
In the Four Agreements, the author talks about the idea that it’s never about you. Whenever someone reacts in a certain way it’s never actually about you. We all want to think it’s about us, but it’s not. It’s never ever about you. Think about when you have a reaction to someone–and what they’ve done, it’s not actually about them, it’s about you not feeling that you’re being heard, not having the right answer, not feeling prepared. It’s never about them–it’s always something. Another of the Four Agreements is don’t make assumptions. If we all took a pause and tried to see or understand, or even ask the questions of where someone is coming from and what shaped their experience, we would all be better equipped to handle everyday life.
How do companies have empathy for employees?
It’s about pulling voices into a room and empowering them. It has to be empowered by leadership, but you can’t force culture. You have to create space and allow culture to organically grow within that. There are so many business challenges and employee challenges that have answers within those walls. It’s asking the right questions and bringing people in.
Miller also shares thoughts on:
- The tendency to chase the latest, greatest technology
- Creating inclusive cultures
- The value of think time
The Business Gist podcast with Beth Miller