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According To Satya Nadella, You Need To Embrace Empathy To Excel At Your Workplace And In Life



t has been almost three and a half years since Satya Nadella took the reins at Microsoft and during this period, a lot has changed both inside and outside Microsoft.

Under his leadership, Microsoft stopped trying to go head-to-head with Apple and Android devices. It narrowed down its focus on areas where it could shine, like cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

Then there have been clashes between governments and tech giants like Facebook, Google, Microsoft and others over users privacy laws. Three days ago, Facebook acquired WhatsApp was completely blocked in China and if you remember, not so long ago, Google had to pay a hefty fine of $2.7 billion posed by the European Union for abusing its search-engine dominance. In short, it is a tough time for all tech giants.

Amid all this mayhem, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was recently quoted saying, “We will regret sacrificing privacy for national security”

On all shores, Nadella has proved his mettle and Bill Gates' decision of handing him the driving seat at Microsoft was a smart and tactical one.

In his recent talk with Bloomberg accompanied with the launch of his new business-book-slash-memoir, Hit Refresh, he recounts how, as a new CEO, he came to realize that the company's recent stumbles weren't due to failures of intellect, but of cultural cohesion.

A Hard-Learned Lesson On Embracing Empathy As Per Satya Nadella©books.google.com

In a recent blog post on LinkedIn, he emphasized on the power of empathy quoting, "I hope readers see the book's main takeaway as the power of taking everyday action driven by empathy.”

According to the Microsoft's CEO, Satya Nadella, there are very beautiful lessons which could be learned from practicing empathy at your workplace and in your life as well.

As Nadella writes, "Hitting refresh is required for any person and organization looking to make a sustained impact over a long period of time." He further added, "Ideas excite me. Empathy grounds and centers me"

His lessons on empathy

A Hard-Learned Lesson On Embracing Empathy As Per Satya Nadella©ThinkstockPhotos

1. Empathy improves teamwork.

When he became CEO in 2014 he saw, "Teamwork was being replaced by internal politics. We were falling behind, While I admired every member of our team, I felt that we needed to deepen our understanding of one another—to delve into what really makes each of us tick—and to connect our personal philosophies to our jobs." He emphasized on knowing each other a little bit more, then only can empathy exist.

2. Empathy helps open your mind.

Nadella says empathy does far more than just motivating you to volunteer or donate, as it primarily opens your mind up to think more about other people's perspectives.

In a recent Wall Street Journal interview he said, "The business we are in is to meet the unmet, unarticulated needs of customers, and there's no way you're going to do that well without having empathy and curiosity." He also acknowledged that he didn't realize just how important empathy was until his son was born with cerebral palsy. It was an experience that led him to better understand why being able to see things from somebody else's perspective is so important.

3. Empathy helps you admit mistakes and move on.

If you remember he took over Microsoft right after it bought Nokia's phone business for more than $7 billion. It was an investment plenty of tech analysts have argued was a bad idea. Under Nadella, Microsoft stopped repeating that mistake and shifted its focus in areas like cloud computing and AI.

That one of the perfect example of learning to admit your mistakes even after being counted as one of the leading tech giants. With the help of empathy, they carved their own new path to success.

Nadella remembering legendary computer scientist Alan Kay

A Hard-Learned Lesson On Embracing Empathy As Per Satya Nadella©Famous People

During the event, Nadella also cited the comment of legendary computer scientist Alan Kay. Alan kay pioneered many of the key concepts in the world of personal computing Nadella remembered saying, “It's Alan Kay who said ‘if you're serious about your software,  you make your own hardware.' I think there's some truth to it. Without that, you can't create new categories of devices, which is why Microsoft built its own HoloLens augmented reality goggles and the processors that run them.

Bill Gates Foreword in Hit Refresh

A Hard-Learned Lesson On Embracing Empathy As Per Satya Nadella©Instagram/economictimes

Gates said, “It was no surprise to me that once Nadella became Microsoft's CEO, he immediately put his mark on the company. As the title of this book implies, he didn't completely break with the past when you hit refresh on your browser, some of what's on the page stays the same.”


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