Growing up, we were exposed through TV to the concept of Robin Hood type of superheroes who would go to the end of the worlds fighting dark evils just to show human compassion to the world. Their reward and satisfaction is obtained only from human gratification. They are naturally motivated by kindness.
Similarly, we are inspired from childhood to show benevolence to others. However, is there a business case for human compassion? Let me share with you my experience after almost 10 years of running an extremely successful business!
The people who you reach out to when doing business, e.g. your clients, potential clients, business partners and associates; will always remember how you dealt with them when they were going through a rough patch. Your compassion will stay in their minds and your altruism in their hearts longer than you can imagine, even though your actions would have faded.
In business, as in life, most people who you show kindness to when they are in dire need will regain strength and may even come out on top. They may get massive success in the future. They may end up in a position to assist you in your moment of need.
But is that the business justification to show compassion to others? I don’t think so.
We help people going through tough times because that’s where we can make the greatest impact. It’s where we can make the biggest positive difference in people’s lives. Our influence is appreciated, recognised and valued the most when we stretch out our hands. We are human after all and showing kindness makes us feel better.
There are people who don’t need our help and extending our compassion as a business is a different story here.
This is what’s real: When you go out of your way to assist someone who is doing great and has no need for your help, it makes little or no difference to them. You will devote just as much money, effort or time, yet your effect is insignificant.
So, is there a business case for showing compassion to people going through hard times? The answer is a resonant YES.
Over the years, I’ve found that there is a feeling of ease and it’s naturally more pleasurable when an increasing cluster of people respect you for showing compassion towards them, when they badly needed it. It’s even more fulfilling if you consider the powerful effect of reciprocity. In social psychology, reciprocity is a social norm of responding to a positive action with another positive action, rewarding kind actions.
I have made the most commercially viable relations with people whom I assisted when they were struggling. Most of these great people have refunded my initial kindness, at times without even telling me. They have referred me to their networks. Some have stuck by my agency even when they could get a similar service elsewhere. They have repaid me to a higher degree than my initial compassion.
All business is marketing and marketing is about connecting with people. With so many ways to automate all business to business interactions these days, it’s gracious to remember that at the end of the day, the true win is derived from providing a human touch in your business.
Something to ponder about, who have you been kind to today? You could share my post with your friends if it makes you feel better.
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