(By Jeff McHugh) If you are a broadcaster, podcaster, or a director, your work likely involves generating ideas and advising others on their development. You can get better at both with one change in attitude. It has to do with empathy.
In coaching others, always begin by assuming that people are doing their best. When a show is not performing in ratings or when an individual is not living up to expectations, it is easy to assume they are lazy, stupid, stubborn, or worse.
Experts say that leaders making those assumptions can make things worse. Your attitude drives what you say and do, and that creates a reaction in the other person. Your emotions are transmitted no matter how you attempt to mask them.
When you are open to the idea that the person is doing the best they know how at the time, that emotional shift within you helps keep your interactions helpful, supportive, and more likely to inspire positive change.
I was writing about how my relationship with my late father was dramatically improved by considering that he might be doing his best, when I found this Inc. article about TED speaker Brene Brown, which explains empathy better than I ever could.
Considering how someone feels is also a path to much better creative brainstorms.
In “The 30-Second Trick That Can Make Anyone More Creative” by Mark Wilson at Fast Company, science proves that creating with your heart is better than creating with your mind.
In the Journal Of Consumer Research, two teams in a study were given jobs creating toys, foods, and products. One team thought logically, and the other was encouraged to imagine what the end user might be feeling before starting to work.
The empathetic approach produced more winning ideas. Applying that concept to your content, it is easy to see that when you ask “how will the listener feel when they hear this?” would lead you to more storytelling, drama, authenticity, and emotion. A person thinking logically might produce more information, lists, and numbers. Like we always say, “Go for stories – not stuff.”
Empathy definitely improves the creative process. Consider how that can apply to your radio show or podcast in the article here.
Jeff McHugh is a member of the team at the Randy Lane Company.