The Importance Of Empathy And Listening In Investing Relationships

Written By Gary Spirer Published April 12th, 2011

The ability to have empathy is the ability to hear the other person

Empathy is listening and questioning skills. If I find myself in a meeting where I’m viewed as just a money provider, I’m not interested in the proposal. Once I have a dialogue with people, I find it very important to relate to the person. Some people act like robots. I look to establish some rapport. I find especially in business that people are so absorbed with achieving their goals that they fail to understand and listen to the other persons’ needs and wants.

Here is a mental/visual test I often use

Picture your potential partner or investment. You’re in New York, or wherever you are, and you have to take a long plan ride to Hawaii to escape, there’s a chance you may want to be in business with the person. I find some of these people boring because they are so self-absorbed. I say, “I must converse and relate with this person or company—possibly for years. There’s not way I’m investing.”

This obviously, depends on the type and size of business and your on going relationship. To Buffet and Lynch they want proven exceptional management and an exceptional business at an excellent price relative to the underlying value. If management’s personality gets the job done, so be it.

Empathy is a very important component of communication

It is seeing and hearing on all levels the other person’s or enterprise’s point of view. It is being attuned t your true self—your full being. The more attuned you are to what you truly want, the clearer your thinking, perceptions, and the more open you will be to the other person. This is also the basis for enjoyable and/or meaningful communication. At the core of Dale Carnegie’s public speaking course and skills is the principle of being yourself and communicating your unique self and experiences.

The same goes for a business. A business has a personality which reflects management. A sound business will succeed often in spite of average management. Great management will fail if the business is not sound and sustainable.


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