Diversity Insight: Empathy fuels connections with a wide variety of members

To effectively assist more of your members, listen and then listen some more before you ever talk about solutions.

In recent times, many credit unions have wondered if they are truly serving the people they were originally created to serve—local communities, people with such common bonds as an employer or community and the underserved.

Doing so well may depend a great deal on the ability to serve people you don’t serve now. And serving people that you don’t serve now may require you to get better at first recognizing diverse needs so then you can address them.

Diversity, at the heart of it, comes down to our unique personal journeys. Diversity comes from not only outward physical differences but from varied life experiences. My journey is not the same as yours and so if I think I know what you have been through and experienced, we can miss the opportunity for me to listen and get to the heart of how we can work together.

Why does this matter? How can true empathy connect you and the credit union to the person in front of you seeking a loan—one you know you can’t make a loan to based on the data you have?


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