I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Seth Godin on the Jane Anderson Show Podcast. Seth Godin is a legend in the business world and has been nicknamed the godfather of modern marketing. Author of 19 books, thousands of blogs and podcasts, he is able to captivate a wide audience with his infectious enthusiasm and sharp humour.
During the show, Seth shared a thought-provoking metaphor which made me pause for a minute.
He asked if you were walking along a beach and you saw somebody drowning, would you save them if you were a good swimmer? Or would you let them drown because you’re not qualified? Because you don’t have a bronze medallion or because you don’t have a lifesaver certification?
He said, “of course you would save them.”
Would you save someone from drowning if you could?
Godin states we hold back too often. We hold back because we’re worried we don’t have the right certifications. We make a mental list of all the things we may not have when in fact, we actually have all the skills to help someone. Just like the drowning scene, if we see someone drown, we would jump to help them.
It’s the same thing in business. If we see somebody who is suffering in their business or in personal growth and they need our help – we need to step up and help them.
Times are changing in how we communicate our value to our audiences and it’s no longer about certificates on the wall.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has just demonstrated this so powerfully. In the wake of the most horrific attack in New Zealand’s history where you would think people would want to leave the country amid fear for their safety, her empathetic response has had an immediate impact on the trust in the country’s brand.
In fact, it’s had the exact opposite effect of what you might think, where people now want to move TO New Zealand. The narrative she is delivering is one of care, empathy, concern and that “we will look after you.” She says “We are us.”
People buy from people
Futurist and strategy consultant, Dr. Graeme Codrington identified that in places like universities, academics will be at one of the greatest risks of changing jobs simply because we no longer need the piece of paper anymore.
Of course, it’s different if you’re going to become a doctor or a dentist, you will need formal qualifications. But in today’s world, if you have the skills, abilities, access to information and you help people achieve results – you can bypass a lot of the old ways of learning and focus on the things you can do to solve a problem.
I ran an event last year where I asked Tracey Hughes, the world’s most awarded hairdresser, to present to a group of premium clients. She said the same thing about certifications. She said one of the greatest risks to the hairdressing industry is certification. You can now watch a YouTube video to learn anything. If you can get great results for someone, that’s all that matters.
This is because people buy from people. They buy from people who they know, like and trust. This level of connection is built through empathy. It’s people who understand their customers are the ones who will win. Meanwhile, the average person spends around two hours per day on social media and check their phone over 80 times per day. Connection is the new currency and those who are prepared to leverage it to its potential will see their businesses grow.
How are you using empathy to build connections? Do you agree that connections are more important than certifications on the wall?
Would love to hear your thoughts.
Jane Anderson is a communication expert, speaker and the author of 6 books including the upcoming “TRUSTED: The Level Above Influence.” With over 20 years of experience helping people step into their personal power, she is obsessed about creating human connection to drive business growth in a world of disruption and automation. To inquire about her working with you or your organisation please contact us here.