109 episodes

Failed product launches. Furious customers. Dysfunctional teams. Many of the problems we face in the business world (and frankly, society) stem from the same root cause: Lack of empathy.

Each week, brand strategist, author and speaker Maria Ross shares keen insights and inspiring interviews that prove empathy and compassion are the new paths to market-winning performance. Leveraging both inspiring stories and hard data, Ross connects empathetic leadership and brands to more innovation, happier stakeholders, and lucrative bottom-line results. You’ll walk away with actionable strategies to amplify your impact, and learn how compassionate business tactics can transform your organization from the inside out.

The Empathy Edge podcast provides a quick dose of motivation, wisdom, and practical actions that executive leaders, entrepreneurs and change makers can use right now. Ready to infuse YOUR organization with more empathy? Tune in to learn why cash flow and compassion are not mutually exclusive.

The Empathy Edge Maria Ross

    • Business
    • 4.8 • 40 Ratings

Failed product launches. Furious customers. Dysfunctional teams. Many of the problems we face in the business world (and frankly, society) stem from the same root cause: Lack of empathy.

Each week, brand strategist, author and speaker Maria Ross shares keen insights and inspiring interviews that prove empathy and compassion are the new paths to market-winning performance. Leveraging both inspiring stories and hard data, Ross connects empathetic leadership and brands to more innovation, happier stakeholders, and lucrative bottom-line results. You’ll walk away with actionable strategies to amplify your impact, and learn how compassionate business tactics can transform your organization from the inside out.

The Empathy Edge podcast provides a quick dose of motivation, wisdom, and practical actions that executive leaders, entrepreneurs and change makers can use right now. Ready to infuse YOUR organization with more empathy? Tune in to learn why cash flow and compassion are not mutually exclusive.

    August Hot Take: Why is Active Listening So Hard?

    August Hot Take: Why is Active Listening So Hard?

    Welcome to August Hot Takes! To celebrate the podcast's 2nd anniversary, we're shaking things up with some solo episodes from yours truly. I'm answering common questions attendees ask during my keynotes and trainings.

    This week: Why is active listening so hard?

    Thanks for being here and enjoying the podcast. Would love to know what you think of this Hot Takes format.



    Key Takeaways:

    Active listening is not a natural skill to master. It is more complicated than basic listening.
    As much as you are able, taking notes during a conversation will allow you to better listen to what is being said, not allowing your mind to wander afar.
    Repeat back and validate what the other person is saying. This doesn’t mean you agree with what they are saying.



    "If you find it difficult to actively listen, just know you're not alone. And know, it is an exercise, it is a muscle you can isolate and strengthen just like empathy." —  Maria Ross



    Resources Mentioned:

    Empathy Circles: https://www.empathycircles.com/

    Institute of Organization Development: Active Listening: Why is it so difficult?

    Empathic Listening: 9 Strategies for Empathic Communication



    Don’t forget to download your free guide! Discover The 5 Business Benefits of Empathy: http://red-slice.com/business-benefits-empathy





    Connect with Maria:

    Get the podcast and book: TheEmpathyEdge.com

    Learn more about Maria’s brand strategy work and books: Red-Slice.com

    Hire Maria to speak at your next event: Red-Slice.com/Speaker-Maria-Ross

    Take my LinkedIn Learning Course! Leading with Empathy

    LinkedIn: Maria Ross

    Instagram: @redslicemaria

    Twitter: @redslice

    Facebook: Red Slice

    • 14 min
    August Hot Take: What Is - and Is NOT - Empathy

    August Hot Take: What Is - and Is NOT - Empathy

    Welcome to August Hot Takes! To celebrate the podcast's 2nd anniversary, we're shaking things up with some solo episodes from yours truly. I'm answering common questions attendees ask during my keynotes and trainings.

    First up: What is empathy? And what is it NOT?

    Let's get on the same page about what empathy in the workplace means, and bust some myths and misconceptions leaders have about it that prevent them from embracing it.

    Thanks for being here and enjoying the podcast. Would love to know what you think of this Hot Takes format.



    Key Takeaways:

    When the heart and the head come together and take action, that is where empathy flourishes..
    You can understand someone’s point of view and where they are coming from without being a doormat and letting them walk all over you.
    The way you approach a difference of opinion is what makes it an empathetic exchange or not.



    "Just because you agree with someone doesn't mean you're empathetic. And just because you're empathetic, doesn't mean you agree with someone. It just means you're going to find a way forward and you're going to keep seeking that common ground." —  Maria Ross



    Resources Mentioned:

    Empathy Circles: https://www.empathycircles.com/



    Don’t forget to download your free guide! Discover The 5 Business Benefits of Empathy: http://red-slice.com/business-benefits-empathy





    Connect with Maria:

    Get the podcast and book: TheEmpathyEdge.com

    Learn more about Maria’s brand strategy work and books: Red-Slice.com

    Hire Maria to speak at your next event: Red-Slice.com/Speaker-Maria-Ross

    Take my LinkedIn Learning Course! Leading with Empathy

    LinkedIn: Maria Ross

    Instagram: @redslicemaria

    Twitter: @redslice

    Facebook: Red Slice

    • 12 min
    Dr. Suzanne Wertheim: Why Inclusive Language Matters

    Dr. Suzanne Wertheim: Why Inclusive Language Matters

    Would you ever throw a dinner party and not even think about guest allergies, or how to make your guests feel most comfortable? Of course not! You would prepare. If only we approached language the way we approach hosting a party! Often on autopilot, we don't stop and think about the words we use and if they are inclusive or if they're damaging them in some unseen way. Words matter and we unintentionally could be hurting others or making them feel unseen by the language we use. This not only harms our relationships, it can lead to low-performing teams, high turnover, or lack of collaboration and innovation.

    Today, I have a great conversation with Dr. Suzanne Wertheim, a national expert on language and bias. Suzanne shares the fascinating story of how she got into linguistic anthropology and how it led to her current work. She attempts to define inclusive language, and why it's more than just being politically correct: it's vital to collaborative success and belonging. We talk about the perspective shifts required and why The Golden Rule doesn't go far enough. And we discuss good outcomes of inclusive language and bad outcomes when you choose to ignore it. Suzanne also shares some quick tips to get you started and unpacks the principles of inclusive language.



    Key Takeaways:

    Language changes based on social context, particularly among minority groups.
    Inclusive language is more than just a list of words you can or cannot say. The impact of the words changes as society changes and it is not a stagnant list.
    Perspective taking is a cognitive skill - the first part is a role shift, the second is taking into account the different perspective that's brought to the situation, because of the other person's different lived experience.
    The word "professionalism" is often used in a very non-inclusive way to gatekeep people who are just showing up, are very competent, and are delivering high quality things on time.



    "We know that we have to practice foreign languages to become fluent. So too with inclusive language:  you can't expect to just get it right away. You have to practice and make mistakes." —  Dr. Suzanne Wertheim



    About Dr. Suzanne Wertheim, Language and Bias Expert:

    Dr. Suzanne Wertheim is a national expert on language and bias. After getting her Ph.D. in Linguistics from Berkeley, she held faculty positions at Northwestern, University of Maryland, and UCLA. In 2011, she left the university system in order to apply her expertise to real-world problems. As head of Worthwhile Research & Consulting, Dr. Wertheim specializes in analyzing and mitigating bias at work. Using the tools of linguistic anthropology, she guides clients to more inclusive language, content, and workplaces. Dr. Wertheim's book, Let's Talk Inclusive Language, will be published by Berrett-Koehler in 2023.



    Connect with Dr. Suzanne Wertheim:

    Website:https://www.worthwhileconsulting.com/

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/WorthwhileRandC

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/suzanne-wertheim-ph-d-1508464/

    LinkedIn Learning Course: Strategies to Foster Inclusive Language at Work

    Resources Mentioned:

    If you're part of a larger organization and interested in the Executive Institute on Inclusion program Suzanne and I mentioned to create a customized DEI program based on data and your unique needs, check it out as just one offering through Susan Freeman's amazing Conscious Inclusion Company: https://consciousinclusioncompany.com/



    Don’t forget to download your free guide! Discover The 5 Business Benefits of Empathy: http://red-slice.com/business-benefits-empathy





    Connect with Maria:

    Get the podcast and book: TheEmpathyEdge.com

    Learn more about Maria’s brand strategy work and books: Red-Slice.com

    Hire Maria to speak at your next event: Red-Slice.com/Speaker-Maria-Ross

    Take my LinkedIn Learning Course! Leading with Empathy

    LinkedIn: Maria Ross

    Instagram: @redslicemaria

    Twitter: @redslice

    Facebook:

    Red Slice

    • 48 min
    Neil Miller: How to Make Hybrid Work WORK!

    Neil Miller: How to Make Hybrid Work WORK!

    The pandemic has changed all the rules of work - they were actually evolving for a while, but COVID accelerated those changes, which left many leaders scrambling. How do we make hybrid work, digital work, remote work WORK for your organization? So many leaders are being thrown into uncharted waters. You may be confused, fearful, angry, stubborn, or unsure about how to make hybrid work, or if your team can perform in such an environment.

    Today, my guest, Neil Miller, and I chat about what hybrid work actually is and where it's going. We discuss the real meaning of culture and how you replicate it when your team is distributed or remote - Neil shares some powerful strategies on how you can co-create the rules with your team so your work experiences are equitable and inclusive. We discuss the role of empathy in the hybrid workplace - not just for employees but for leaders who are unsure how to navigate this new reality. We joked about how so many companies misunderstand what "culture" really means - and why the old way of thinking about it won't serve them in this new environment. And Neil invites you to think through when in-person is worth it so you maximize those opportunities and get other work done remotely.



    Key Takeaways:

    While many studies are showing that people are more productive when working from home, it is not the right fit for every person.
    Culture is how we treat each other and how we get work done. It is more than just people being in the same place at the same time.
    In order to solve the complex problems of our day, collaboration is essential.
    Meetings are great. They do a lot, but they don't have to do everything for you. You don't have to rely on them for every type of collaboration you do.



    "Culture is how we work, how we do meetings, how we do everything. In a digital world, you're forced to deal with that in a much more explicit way than when you're in the office." —  Neil Miller



    About Neil Miller: Director, The Digital Workplace

    Neil Miller is the Director of The Digital Workplace. He has talked with over 200 of the best thinkers and leaders in the world about how to rebuild work for the digital age by redefining productivity, collaboration, leadership, technology, and culture. He’s a prolific thought stealer and curator of the most amazing list of check in questions in the world.

    Connect with Neil Miller

    Website: www.thedigitalworkplace.com

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/NeilMiller3000

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/neilamiller/

    Guide and video course for how to run effective digital meetings: https://thedigitalworkplace.com/digital-meetings/

    Resources Mentioned: The Empathy Edge interview with Rebecca Friese: How to Build a "Good" Culture

    The Empathy Edge interview with Paul Marobella: Leading Through Crisis





    Don’t forget to download your free guide! Discover The 5 Business Benefits of Empathy: http://red-slice.com/business-benefits-empathy





    Connect with Maria:

    Get the podcast and book: TheEmpathyEdge.com

    Learn more about Maria’s brand strategy work and books: Red-Slice.com

    Hire Maria to speak at your next event: Red-Slice.com/Speaker-Maria-Ross

    Take my LinkedIn Learning Course! Leading with Empathy

    LinkedIn: Maria Ross

    Instagram: @redslicemaria

    Twitter: @redslice

    Facebook: Red Slice

    • 41 min
    Sandeep Dayal: Branding Between The Ears

    Sandeep Dayal: Branding Between The Ears

    The Holy Grail of brand success is to really understand and engage with your ideal customer. But how do some brands seem to do this so effortlessly, while others throw marketing campaign after marketing campaign out there and get nowhere? Today, my guest is Sandeep Dayal. Sandeep advises senior executives at Fortune 500 companies in industries spanning pharmaceuticals, financial services, and consumer products.  He shares how he got into cognitive science-based branding and shares examples of it in action. We talk about how brands can enhance experiences based on cognitive science, why marketers need to spend more time understanding behavioral motivation and how our brains work so they can influence choice - and most importantly, how to ethically influence subconscious choice. You'll learn a great three question test that every marketer should ask to police themselves! We talk about the difference between brands with empathy and brands with values, and how branding has changed and what modem marketers need to know to be more successful.

    Key Takeaways:

    If you don’t understand what your client or customer is going through, you will not be able to help them effectively.
    Brands with values need to have authentic values. It can't just be a list of things that are on a pretty poster on a wall, but rather they are the values that the company is living and supporting.
    Good marketing is about elevating the truth of your story so the people who need you or your product can find you.
    It is your responsibility, as a marketer, to understand how you're going to tap into the way the brain naturally works.



    "Subconscious choice is a part of what we do every day.  There's no getting away from it, but you have to do these things in an ethical way." —  Sandeep Dayal



    About Sandeep Dayal: Managing Director, Cerenti and Author, Branding Between the Ears

    Sandeep Dayal is the managing director of the consulting firm Cerenti. He advises senior executives at Fortune 500 companies in industries spanning pharmaceuticals, financial services, and consumer products.  His latest book Branding Between the Ears has been described by some as the definitive advance in the understanding of what makes some brands truly iconic. It draws on his years of experience in working with some of the most successful consumer brands and his company’s proprietary knowledge capital.

    Connect with Sandeep Dayal

    Website and book, Branding Between the Ears: https://www.sandeepdayal.com/

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/sandeepdayal

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sandeep-dayal-8361b61/

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100064465411245&is_tour_dismissed=true

    sandeepdayal004/

    Resources Mentioned:

    The Empathy Edge interview with Michael Ventura (GE story): How to Apply Empathy to Tough Business Challenges.

    The Empathy Edge interview with Melina Palmer (Behavioral Economics): Why Your Customers Can't Tell You What They Want





    Don’t forget to download your free guide! Discover The 5 Business Benefits of Empathy: http://red-slice.com/business-benefits-empathy





    Connect with Maria:

    Get the podcast and book: TheEmpathyEdge.com

    Learn more about Maria’s brand strategy work and books: Red-Slice.com

    Hire Maria to speak at your next event: Red-Slice.com/Speaker-Maria-Ross

    Take my LinkedIn Learning Course! Leading with Empathy

    LinkedIn: Maria Ross

    Instagram: @redslicemaria

    Twitter: @redslice

    Facebook:

    Red Slice

    • 36 min
    Mike O'Bryan: Narrative Intelligence

    Mike O'Bryan: Narrative Intelligence

    Is it even possible to center humanity in our work and our systems?  We have become numb to the fact that so many of our government policies, social programs, and even corporate cultures exist to serve every other purpose but our shared humanity.  They fail to acknowledge that humans are complex and that we can't compartmentalize inputs in order to get successful outputs. The solution is to become more developmentally informed to build systems and cultures that center humanity - while still being widely successful and profitable.

    My guest today talking about these big concepts as well as how they are relevant to the future of work is Michael O'Bryan. Mike shares what it means to be developmentally informed, what shared humanity means, and the real cost of dehumanization. He shares the difference between narrative and story and the influencers of human behavior. We discuss narrative intelligence and how the lack of it can lead to violence and racism like we saw in Buffalo, NY weeks ago. And how all of these concepts relate to the future of work and economic policies and systems. We go deep in this one, but I think you will love the conversation!



    Key Takeaways:

    You cannot have the wrong activities and produce the right outcomes.
    Diversity is a fact. Equity is a choice. Inclusion is an activity. Belongingness is an outcome.
    You tend to imagine more with pictures with the things that are close to you than the things that are distant from you.
    It is to shape your children with narratives; it can take a minute to teach love or hate with an answer to a question.
    The narratives that you hear shape you. We have to be more critical about what we are hearing, understanding the bias of where those narratives are coming from, and what it is costing us.



    “You have got to be cognizant of the fact that you will meet narratives and stories about groups of people before you ever meaningfully engage in a relationship with them.” Mike O’Bryan



    About Michael O'Bryan + Founder/CEO:

    Michael O’Bryan is a practitioner and researcher in the fields of community development, organizational culture, and human well-being. He is a Distinguished Resident Fellow at The Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation at Drexel University where he is building a research lab focused on the future of work, economic policies, and systems through the lens of developmental science and social equity. Michael is also the founder of Humanature, a design strategy firm working with a mission of supporting organizations and leaders in centering humanity in the context of their work. Past and current clients include NeighborWorks America, The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, New Jersey Community Capital, Strada Education Network, The Opportunity Finance Network, and The United Negro College Fund. Michael has spoken about his work at such venues as Cornell University's Institute on Employment and Disability, SOCAP, and the Apollo Theater in New York. He is on faculty in Career Studies at the Curtis Institute of Music, a lecturer in city planning at the University of Pennsylvania’s Stuart Weitzman School of Design, and most recently served on the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Commission on the Arts. Michael also serves on the boards of two philanthropic institutions in Philadelphia: the Samuel S. Fels Fund and the Philadelphia Cultural Fund.

    Connect with Michael O'Bryan

    Website: https://www.humanature.works/

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/MisticQuest

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikeobryan613/

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michael.obryan25/

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/books_and_ish/

    Empathy Lab: https://www.empathylab.works/

    Resources Mentioned:

    Heather Hiscox interview on The Empathy Edge: The Surprising Empathy Gap in Social Impact That Hinders Change
    The Possibility Project
    Ozark on Netflix
    Severance on Apple TV
    James Ehrlich interview on The Empathy Edge: The Neighborhood of the Future is Here
    The Social Insti

    • 1 hr 6 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
40 Ratings

40 Ratings

RhondaJoy ,

If you're looking to up your business game, you need to listen to the Empathy Edge podcast.

If you're looking to up your business game, you need to listen to the Empathy Edge podcast. Maria Ross is an empathy expert who will show you why empathy is a must-have trait in your business and for operational excellence. She's a brand strategist with tangible applications that will help you connect with your customers and create a brand they can trust. But what’s most admirable is how she can create the link between her experiences and use that to shift your leadership culture in the workplace.

Danielle (Writer, Speaker) ,

Thoughtful, Enriching, & Practically Useful Podcast

In a world with a lot of fluff… Especially in the podcast space, I was thrilled to find Maria Ross’ Empathy Edge podcast, which is all-at-the-same-time thoughtful, enriching, and immediately useful to my personal and professional life. In particular, I love that she asks meaty questions, the conversations feel feee flowing and authentic, and episodes are all about 30 minutes long. Highly recommend!

Rob Volpe ,

Great look at empathy in business

I really enjoyed my interview with Maria - it was like talking with a good friend with very easy back and forth and sharing of perspectives on empathy and how it applies to business.

Highly recommend this podcast if you are looking to strengthen your use of empathy in the workplace and to make your business stronger.

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