Through Empathy to Success in Personal and Professional Life
The first semester of Hemofarm Foundation 2018 Mentorship Programme ended with the lecture titled “Empathic Leader: How to actually connect with people and achieve more!” by Professor Dr. Nikolaos Dimitriadis, Regional Director at the University of Sheffield International Faculty.

This was an opportunity for Hemofarm Foundation scholarship holders to listen to a unique lecture of Dr. Dimitriadis about empathy as one of the key skills for achieving success in personal and professional life. Contemporary research in the area of empathy show that our brains are already programmed for empathy, but in order to actually lead a productive and meaningful life, we have to be able to activate our empathic abilities in the brain every day and to use them efficiently. Experts claim that empathy is the key to create, nurture and expand winning relationships, therefore it should be applied as much as possible.

“If we want to create a better society and environment both for the citizens and the employees and business in general, we must urgently change the model of communication”, said Professor Dimitriadis to the attendees of the Mentorship Programme while explaining that “we are brainwashed by the established way of upbringing, education, and we no longer feel human, we became homo economicus. When you say to someone “Ignore your intuition!“ or “Empathy makes you weak!“, you are actually trapped by homo economicus mentality which is non-scientific, dogmatic, cruel and to be blamed for majority of flaws and mistakes in our lives”, said the Professor. As he says, on the opposite side is the so-called “brain-centric“ approach, based on the latest findings of different branches of science which deal with creating a more meaningful behaviour and linking people by making them achieve a deeper connection with their own brain.

“Through development of science and technology, we were given the opportunity to better understand the way brain functions and get insight into what is happening inside when we make a decision about something and when we act in a certain way. What we see is just incredible – empathy and collaboration are what actually makes us human. Egocentric and inflexible approach of homo economicus is completely scientifically obsolete nowadays“, claims Professor Dimitriadis.

During the lecture, Matteo Venerucci, the associate of Professor Dimitriadis, measured the level of empathy in participants of the Mentorship Programme triggered by photographs of people in a different mood and with different feelings. The conclusion is that empathy is actually one of top skills desirable in business, that it is a precondition for open communication, for inviting others to state their ideas and proposals more freely, and for creating a work environment which encourages making creative solutions.

Professor Dr. Nikolaos Dimitriadis has been applying neuroscience and behavioural sciences in the area of marketing, communication and leadership for over a decade. He obtained his PhD and MBA from the University of Sheffield, where he currently works as Development Director. He is the author of books "Neuroscience for Leaders: A Brain Adaptive Leadership Approach" and "Advanced Marketing Management: Principles, Skills and Tools".