Fake Smiles :D

Empathy is something like being able to put oneself into another person’s shoes. It’s something like what profilers do. Thinking what the criminals are going to do next. What are the criminals thinking now?

I did two tests that Daniel Pink suggested: Empathy Quotient and Spot the Fake Smile. For the Empathy Quotient test, I received a score of thirty one. I scored ten points lower than average scores of men. However, I hear from many people that I am good at reading people’s faces and/or emotions. I also think that I am good at being in another person’s shoes. The low score, I think, came from the social related questions. Although I am good at empathizing, I am not a very social person. While I was thinking about the score and reading the chapter, I thought of a question. Would people with siblings be better at empathizing? I ask this question because whenever I got into a fight with my sister, my mom would tell me to get into my sister’s shoes and feel what she’s feeling.

For the second test, Spot the Fake Smile, I scored sixteen out of twenty. It was lower than what I expected but I think it was a decent score. At one point, while I was taking the test, I thought, “Some of these people must be really good at acting to look like they are smiling for real!” This is a “duh” statement, but it made me difficult to see if the person was smiling for real or not.

I really think empathy is a key component in business. Whenever a product or an invention is created, the designers of the product (or inventors) have to get into the lives of the consumers. Why do they need this? How will they use it? Will they use it? What would it do for them? Will they like the appearance of the product? I believe that good products/invention are ones that change every aspect of a person’s life. For example, the pencil we use is a great invention/design. Although we take it for granted, the idea of attaching eraser to the top of the pencil revolutionized the pencil industry and people who use pencil. When we say number two pencil, we automatically think of the yellow pencil with a pink eraser on top. The design of the pencil is embedded in our brain, our lives. Same with cell phones for people today. Twenty years ago, people didn’t feel the need to have a cell phone. Probably because the design of the cell phones back then were big and ugly. However, cell phones became aesthetically pleasing, light, and multi-functional. Now, almost everyone needs and wants cell phones. It became part of our lives. We communicate with it, we listen to music with it, we take pictures with it, and we wake up with it. It’s these products/inventions that become a part of life that become successful. To create such “thing”, designers, inventors, and engineers have to empathize and live the consumers life with the “thing” that they are making.

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