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If youre not in the business of empathy, youre in the wrong business.

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    If youre not in the business of empathy, youre in the wrong business. If youre not in the business of empathy, youre wrong.

    In my world, we’d say, “answers have built a better brand than questions.”

    By Milan Martin | September 26, 2016

    Just hours ahead of our first presidential debate here in the United States, it’s hard to ignore a troubling phenomena: that easy answers seem to have gained a better reputation than hard questions. In my world, we’d say, “answers have built a better brand than questions.”

    Most modern societies around the world value answers over questions. Which probably isn’t a surprise to anyone reading this. We all want to have the answer – having the answer makes you the ‘go-to-person’. We all endeavor to solve the problem, to right a wrong or just to be the first to buzz in and be ‘right’.

    Maybe it’s this game show mentality in business and in life that leaves us with half-baked products, bad advertising (again, my world) or even ill-informed political points of view and unjust global policy. After all an easy answer to just about any impulse or question we'd have today is simply a Google search away.

    Valuing answers over questions is a dangerous thing, if you ask me.

    Easy answers end a discussion.

    Great questions lead to understanding, insight and, importantly, empathy.
    I know, “questions and empathy” – sounds soft, just like something a guy in the advertising business, who lives in San Francisco and votes Democrat would, of course, say. 

    But I say this as much with my capitalism hat on as I do my human hat. Better questions and empathy-driven business can benefit us all.

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