Imagine looking out your window and seeing a baby crying inthe middle of the street. What would you do?
Okay, hold your answer to that question. We’ll come back to it in a second.
Living in Seattle, you cannot help but notice Microsoft. In fact, in some capacity or another, I’ve either worked with or for Microsoft for more than half of the 7 years I’ve lived in the area. So, when I saw that Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, had released the book “Hit Refresh” and that it was available as an audiobook, I was intrigued—even if I was late to the party.
It didn’t take but a couple chapters for this book to have an impact on me. Satya explains how during the interview process at Microsoft, he was asked numerous questions about technical and problem solving, but he was also asked the same question I posed at the start of this post. His response? “Call 911.” To which his interviewer replied, “You need some empathy, man. If a baby is lying in the street crying, pick up the baby.”
Satya describes in detail how empathy for other people’s circumstances can help you engender trust and uncover new ways to solve problems that bring about change. This got me thinking about how I approach life. Do I intentionally put myself in the position of others? Do I strive to come up with solutions that meet family/strangers/clients where they are at and help them get to where they want to be?
Satya then goes on to explain how unforeseen events in hispersonal life have changed him and helped him see the need and place forempathy in his life. This change has not only shaped how he looks at life, butalso how he runs one of the most influential companies in the world.
I know there is no finite answer and that no one justbecomes empathetic overnight, but I do know that I’ve identified it as an areawhere I want to grow.
Now, go back to your answer to the question I asked earlier. Did you want to help the baby? Or did you see it as something that wasn’t your problem? I hope that this post has kindled a fire in you to look for new ways to make an impact in the lives of those around you. A little empathy goes a long way.