The Role Empathy Plays in Content Development.
Connection is imperative to the human experience. Love and belonging—having a sense of connection to those around us—is smack dab in the middle of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. (The only more important needs are related to physiological well-being and safety.) This longing to connect with others is a need so deeply ingrained in us that it’s impossible to ignore. But it doesn’t always come easy. The fear of rejection and judgment can force someone to silence their own truth and miss the profound connections everyone desperately needs.
As video producers, it’s our job to ensure every authentic story is told and connections can be made through our work. Our mission is to give voice to the human experience and make positive change in the world we all share. Empathy on our part is integral to achieving those goals.
We understand that opening up can be scary. So we take extra care when working with our partners. We intentionally create environments that hold space for people to gain the courage to share so generously, not only with our team but with all those who will experience their story. Giving them space, time, and respect as well as being fully present and truly listening to what they have to say—not fishing for a particular angle—builds trust. Delicate topics like human trafficking survival, a child facing parental loss, and overcoming substance abuse require a gentle approach.
The care doesn’t end when the cameras stop rolling, though. Next, we have to take the story from its raw form and shape it into a polished piece. The basis for crafting it in such a way is a deep understanding of the subject matter. Handing off the story also takes courage and trust from the speakers and empathy from the video team.
Over the years we’ve worked with people with a diverse array of lived experiences, each with their own unique story to share. We're consistently moved by interviewees as they transition from survivor to advocate. We work hard to ensure this process is empowering by letting the interviewee have control over their content.
It is our honor as creators to be trusted with our partners' precious stories. In addition to our empathy, we also have immense gratitude for those who choose to participate in projects. Their contribution to the cause will undeniably make a difference.