Since 2007 my first book, titled Throwing Gas on the Fire – Creating DRASTIC Change In Sales and Marketing has gone back to the printer several times. My experience is like most authors, that first book tends to be a little more special to us.
Before I go to the printer again, I felt it needed some updates, editing, and revisions. So I removed the last chapter and replaced with the following, which is more “where are we now, and what direction does mankind need to head?
Excerpt from the new and improved book “Throwing Gas on the Fire – Creating DRASTIC Change in Life and Business. . . .
“I am not surprised.” It has been over a decade since Brock shared The Conversation. Our reunion over lunch is celebratory for both of us. “I mean, I can clearly see it in the upcoming generation, but you are saying it is infecting others?”
His fork was pushing the last remnants of desert. “Empathy skills are not only down, but the research shows that unemployment is increasing at the same rate.”
“Since I shared DRASTIC with you, it seems that business has all gotten on board with creating customer experiences. They are numerically based on the ultimate question of ‘On a scale of one to ten, how likely are you to share your experience with your friends and family?'”
“Right,” I nod. “The whole Net Promoter Score thing.”
“But,” Brock said, putting his hand to cheek, “the customer is wanting more. So very much more. They want engagement. They want significance.”
“You see, success is important; results a must, and all that jazz. But what we crave is that influence that goes beyond a recommendation. Ultimately there is a desire to change lives, and influence for a legacy. To do that requires an engagement level that is magical. It requires the je ne sais quoi that goes with magnetic personalities, with those who are charismatic.”
“We can’t all be charismatic,” I injected.
“Hey, we can all develop industrial strength listening skills,” he quickly responded. “Until we learn how to listen, empathize and develop some creative compassion, we will see more and more people ‘check out’. We need more people engaged, now more than ever.
“You see empathy is declining. In a way that is not surprising. If you listen to others whine too much, you soon become exhausted. You know,” he said, punching the air with a pointed gesture, “that empathy is processed in the part of the brain where pain is processed? All this listening to others can hurt after a while. The imperative is to make people aware of the need for empathy, and then teach them creative skills.”
“Wait?” I am totally lost. “Where does creativity come in. I thought we were talking about empathy?”
“We are. Empathy can be painful after a while. Unless we can get others to knowingly recognize empathic listening AND THEN MOVE ON to compassion, then we won’t be able to change the world. You want to change the world, right? This he said with one eyebrow arched.
“To move past empathy, then requires us to creatively think, ‘what could I do for this person, that won’t take away from their personal responsibility to take action in their own behalf? What could I contribute that might help them dig out?’ It is a tough question, and it will take wisdom to do, be we have a responsibility to lift others. Empathy is a stepping stone before real contribution occurs. That comes with creativity that leads to compassion. “
“Oh, I forgot to tell you. Compassion is processed in the brain were rewards and pleasure is found.”
With that Brock slides the bill for lunch that just arrived over to my side of the table. “Here you go my friend. It is your turn to show your compassion, bust out that corporate expense account.”
Both of our smiles were crooked.