Empathy and generosity – the keys to engaging your customers and people

A Simple Recipe

It’s no secret that I am a fan of Jessica Hagy, her books and her blog: Indexed. I was also lucky enough to interview her about her new book (How to be more interesting (and keep customers for longer) – Interview with Jessica Hagy) about 6 weeks ago.

Recently, she published one of her daily diagrams – A Simple Recipe (See above):

How to make friends and influence people = the intersection of empathy and generosity

It’s a great but simple diagram and insight. However, if we think about this the applications could be huge for customer engagement, employee engagement, leadership, customer service, marketing, change, culture etc etc.

Here’s where and why I think some firms are failing:

  • Many firms have little or no empathy with their people or their customers and are, therefore, disconnected from them or struggling to understand why what they are doing is not working as well as it used to.

  • Many firms are not generous with their time, effort, care or resources towards their people and their customers and, so, wonder why when they ask for their help they get little in return.

  • Often firms have empathy with their customers and their people but they are not generous with their time, effort, care or resources and, therefore, they have insight but unless they show it or demonstrate it nothing happens or gets done.

  • Often firms are generous with their customers and their people but they do not have the empathy needed to give the right sort of ‘things’. Therefore, little or nothing happens.

How much empathy do you have for your people or your customers?

How generous are you being and are you being generous with empathy?


  1. Hello Adrian

    It occurs to me that the business and organisational world are devoid of both empathy and generosity. And the cartoon and your post says it all beautifully.

    All the best

    • Thanks for that, Maz.

      Personally, I’d like to believe that it doesn’t have to be that way and I, for one, am advocating, nudging, cajoling and helping as many businesses as I can take a different path.


  2. Adrian,

    I agree, but it isn’t businesses that are at fault, it is their owners

    We all worry about “me” and few of us worry about anybody else


    • Hi James,
      I think you are right in part. I think we all have a responsibility to think more about and care more about other people if we want to work in and/or create the businesses that we desire.


  3. Empathy is underrated when it comes to the customer experience, but I believe it’s because Suppliers sometimes seem “untouchable”. I’ve come across a website called http://www.hellopeter.com which puts me in touch with my suppliers by allowing me to write reports about them, of which a copy gets sent to them AND they have the opportunity to reply to me. And, hopefully, give me some empathy.


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