In the 5 steps process of design thinking, the very fist step is about empathy. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It is also said as thinking from other’s shoes. Many a times, people think this empathy is only relevant for people who develop products or offer some services. But if I say empathy is part of everyone’s business, can you believe it?

A professional speaker should empathize on his audience and accordingly deliver his speech. He cannot take it for granted and waste the time of his audience by ranting. So his true for a musician. She has to meet the expectations of her fans or rasikas and deliver songs with musical aspects. In the same manner, a writer has to keep his readers in mind and write interesting stuff, whether it is a fiction or non-fiction or any genre.

Many a times in organizations, we see people spending lot of time and effort in coming out with detailed reports. But they lack to see from the reader’s perspective and fail to give the finishing touches. Let me show you some elementary examples. If you are apathetic towards the audience, you would do whatever you like some Government agencies. Have a look at this example from a Govt department.

Is it possible to easily read the numbers from the report, without the presence of commas. Without having commas in right place, it is difficult to read the numbers.

Now let us see another report from another department. In this report there is no left-alignment for the numbers in column. Again is it easy to read and compare the numbers? Certainly not!

Now let us see another report in word format.

In this report, the person has done use full justification to make the text look nice within the margins, but a quick glance would tell that it is harder to read because of the gaps between the words. But people are not concerned about the end-user in mind and take it for granted. This is called apathy. Apathy is nothing bu the feeling of lack of interest, enthusiasm or concern.

Whatever be the situation and whoever be your stakeholder, try to show some empathy and think from their perspective before you deliver. If showing empathy is not possible, the minimum expectation is not to show apathy. Would you keep this simple message in mind?