08: Ripped from the Headlines: Lessons on Empathy

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

This quote has been attributed to Theodore Roosevelt, Zig Ziglar, John Maxwell, and others. It’s been re-quoted so often that we simply accept it as a “truth-ism.” This quote forms the basis for our show today on empathy.

Starbucks is closing 8000 stores on May 29 for several hours to implement racial bias training for 175,000 employees. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, then you’ve seen the recent news story of the two black men at a Starbucks in Philadelphia who were asked to leave the store, refused, and then were arrested while onlookers used their phones to record the incident. Let’s talk about what went wrong and what could have been done differently.

Show Highlights:

  • As a resident of Seattle, I’ve sent Starbucks a warm, appreciative video about my customer experience and how getting coffee at Starbucks wherever I’m traveling “always makes me feel like home.”
  • My personal complaint about an incident with my wheelchair: not about a Starbucks issue, but a human issue where I wasn’t seen or heard
  • In the Philadelphia incident, it wasn’t a racial issue, but was manifested as one–”It’s a human issue, about seeing people, listening to people, and caring about people.”
  • The outcome will ALWAYS be better if people feel like they are seen and heard
  • This week, I’ve had meetings with city council officials about a property development issue where there has NOT been “empathy-fueled leadership”
  • “Implicit bias” says, “I’m right and you’re wrong. My problems are more important than yours.”
  • We can tell what’s fake and what’s real, so people will know if you really care
  • The ONLY way to show care is empathy, putting yourself in someone else’s shoes
  • “Go out, listen to someone, focus on their feelings, and SHOW how much you care.”

Resources mentioned:

Watch the YouTube to see videos I’ve done for Starbucks:

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