Empathy Quotes in Business
This article is part of our series on Empathy- based Research. You can view the full series or download the report.
At Brand Genetics, we use empathy as a research technique to understand the emotional worlds of consumers. Empathy research helps our clients walk the consumer-closeness and consumer-centric talk.
The web is full of inspiring quotes about empathy, notably from Barack Obama on repairing the empathy deficit. But here’s a list of empathy quotes particularly relevant for business, celebrating our mental ability to experience and understand what someone else is feeling.
- “If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from his angle as well as your own” Henry Ford
- “The value that I really learned to appreciate deeply and which I talk about a great deal is empathy. I don’t think it is simply a “nice to have” but I believe it is at the centre of the agenda for innovation here at Microsoft” Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft
- “People will try to convince you that you should keep your empathy out of your career. Don’t accept this false premise.” Tim Cook, CEO of Apple
- “Our core business is connected with the customers’ needs and we will not be able to satisfy them if we don’t have a deep sense of empathy” Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft
- “Most people think that empathy is something you have only with friends and the family, but in reality, it is also a priority in business” Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft
- “Empathy is a muscle, so it needs to be exercised” Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft
- “Without empathy it is not possible to get the best from your team, so for this reason it is the key to everything” Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft
- “Empathy is one of our greatest tools of business that is most underused” Daniel Lubetzky, billionaire founder and CEO of snack company Kind LLC
- “The successful agencies of the future will be those that integrate technological excellence with profoundly human qualities: combining efficacy with empathy… I suspect that we’ll need appetite and empathy more than ever” Jim Carroll, Ex-Chairman BBH
- “If we have optimism, but we don’t have empathy – then it doesn’t matter how much we master the secrets of science, we’re not really solving problems; we’re just working on puzzles” Bill Gates
- “Empathy helps marketers break out of their blind spots, open their eyes to the human side of the consumer and flips the conversation from brand-led to people-led” Nick Graham, VP, Insights at PepsiCo
- “In a world of big data, it’s important to remember that marketing is more than just a series of faceless transactions. There’s a real human heartbeat at the end of all those 1s and 0s, a person we can build a meaningful, lasting relationship with. And that’s where empathy comes into play. In building a deeper understanding of the people who buy our brands, we elevate our marketing beyond the generic and create products, programs and communications with the power to make people feel heard, moved and inspired” Nick Graham, VP, Insights at PepsiCo
- “Empathy is key in the design process, especially when you start expanding outside of your comfort zone to new languages, cultures, and age groups. If you try to assume what those people want, you’re likely to get it wrong” Mike Krieger, founder of Instagram
- “Today, organisations run the risk of overcompensating for the analogue past and completely focusing on big data analytics and data-driven insights – which indeed is a capability that needs to be built. And we’re investing a lot of time and effort in that. However, if you’re not careful you fall into what I call the empathy gap, which comes from over-focusing on what the data tells you. In most cases data tells a lot about what people do when they do it. It doesn’t tell you much about why they do it” Stephan Gans, Chief Insights and Analytics Officer at PepsiCo
- “Empathy. It’s one of the biggest things to which I attribute my success. It’s the reason I believe that I am one of the great salespeople out there”. Gary Vaynerchuk, entrepreneur and CEO of ad agency, VaynerMedia
- “The notion of empathy and human-centeredness is still not widely practiced in many corporations. Business people rarely navigate their own websites or watch how people use their products in a real-world setting. And if you do a word association with “business person,” the word “empathy” doesn’t come up much.” David Kelley, founder IDEO
- “Empathy is the antidote for the simplified, abstract information that often carries authority inside organizations. Empathy helps people see the world as it really is, not how it looks on a map” Dev Patnaik, author, Wired to Care
- “The quickest way to have empathy for someone else is to be just like them. For companies, the answer is to hire their customers” Dev Patnaik, author, Wired to Care
- “It’s often not possible or not enough to hire your customers. To continue to grow and prosper, you have to step outside of yourself and walk in someone else’s shoes” Dev Patnaik, author, Wired to Care
- “Empathy is the ultimate form of customer insight”. Don Peppers, founding partner of management consultancy, Peppers and Rogers Group