Bet your future on empathy

I’m at Inbound 2017 right now, awaiting the first breakout session scheduled for the first official day. 
Walking in to the conference, a huge marquee out front welcomes you with the message: “Build a future on empathy.”

That may seem a bit odd for one of the world’s largest marketing conferences, but it’s the essence of inbound — and it’s what we’ve been betting our futures on for years now as we help grow our clients’ businesses. 

Embracing inbound demands that you truly understand your buyers, clients, your target audience. Inbound requires that you offer help, deliver value, provide answers. Inbound only works if you can feel what they’re feeling, and meet them where they’re at. 

Empathy is the backbone of human connections: the ability to connect with, understand and value each other. It’s not the future; it’s the past and present too.  It’s how we connect with people, and how connect with brands or organizations.  

To be empathetic and to be worthy of empathy requires both vulnerability and humility.  We have to be able to listen without judgement, and remove our egos from our perspective of understanding.