Join Me in Making 2014 the Year of Empathy

As you may have read in my customer experience trends for 2014, I’ve labelled 2014 as “The Year of Empathy.” Hopefully many, many people will embrace the concept of empathy within their organizations and not just treat it as the word du jour. To help in the effort, I’m going to make empathy an ongoing theme in this blog.

Here’s my challenge to everyone reading this post: Join me and the entire Temkin Group team in making empathy come to life within your organizations. As a start, watch and share this video by the Cleveland Clinic: Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care.

The bottom line: If you could stand in someone else’s shoes would you treat them differently?

Written by 

I am an experience management transformist, helping organizations improve business results by engaging the hearts and minds of their customers, employees, and partners. My "job" is Head of the Qualtrics XM Institute. The Institute is still being established, but our goal is to help organizations around the world thrive by mastering Experience Management (XM). As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. Prior to joining Qualtrics, I was managing partner of Temkin Group (leading CX research, advisory, and training firm), co-founder and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (, and a VP at Forrester Research. I'm a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Check out my LinkedIn profile:

7 thoughts on “Join Me in Making 2014 the Year of Empathy”

  1. This video is incredible and i’ve shared it with my entire company. Absolutely agree that this should be the year of empathy. well said!

  2. Wow. Should come with a warning label: “Emotional response likely”. : ) When we invite empathy in, we must also be willing to accept the emotions that follow. Look out business world, you’re in for some awesome transformational change. Congrats to all those who contributed to this production. And Kudos to all who follow this mantra. I call it CLIENT EXPERIENCE 2.0.

  3. Great topic Bruce. I totally buy into the importance of empathy in business and life. BTW, I just finished a nice book called “Wired to Care” which makes the case for empathy in business through many nice stories from Microsoft, Nike, Harley Davidson, …

  4. Bringing empathy to life in organizations is a great idea – so how do you do it? I believe it takes a lot of hard work, and the leaders of an organization have to show their employees how they can use empathy to drive their bottom lines. Adding empathy training would be a good start. Adding it to people’s goals – so they are motivated – that would help too.

    I’ve been working hard to bring empathy more attention and I’m so glad to see more people working on this! I wish you and everyone here the best of luck.


    1. Nice point Janet.
      As part of a Design Thinking training I attended (Design Training is a human-centered innovation method highly relying on empathy to gain customer insights), we used improvisional theater exercises. That worked very well both to warm up before a creativity session and to get you focused on paying attention to others and accepting their ideas. We’re not too far from empathy here.
      We had our Sales Leader and our Ops Leader in the training and they both concluded that similar exercises would be very useful for their staff.
      So an idea to promote empathy in an organisation might be to use impro as a team building tool with the Leadership team, and hopefully have them buy into deploying with their teams.
      I’d be happy to hear about other best practices to promote empathy.


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