We generally all prefer to demonstrate how thoughtful, logical, and insightful we are in our analysis and discussions. That clearly marks us as supposed intellectuals.
However, think about it. How does advertising get results? Appealing to our emotions because we are hard-wired as emotional beings.
We all know about “fight or flight”. That reaction is pure emotion. We’re scared and we don’t have time to think. We run—or freeze in our tracks.
We’ve all heard about “love at first sight”. No analysis there. Simply swooning.
We’ve guffawed at a joke or a sitcom or something in the movies. Did we think about it? No, we reacted. It was simply funny.
Why is this? I decided to shamelessly inquire of my new “best friend”, Chat GPT-4. Here’s a synopsis:
- Evolutionary Purpose: Emotions have served an evolutionary purpose, quickly driving our ancestors to act in response to threats or opportunities without having to spend precious time on detailed logical analysis.
- Decision Making: Studies in neuroscience and psychology have found that people often make decisions based on emotions and then use logic to justify those decisions after the fact. This is because the emotional response to a decision or event often happens more quickly than the cognitive (thinking) response.
- Memory and Association: Emotions, especially strong ones, are closely tied to memory. When you have an emotional response, your brain is more likely to remember the event. This means that emotional responses can form strong associations and influence future decision making.
- Motivation: Emotion often provides the motivation to act. For instance, we may logically know we need to study for an exam, but the emotion of fear (of failing) or ambition (desire to succeed) often provides the push to get started.
- Immediate Perception: Emotions provide an immediate way of understanding the world around us. While logical thinking requires time and effort, emotional responses are immediate and provide us with quick ‘judgments’ about our environment.
- Social and Cultural: Emotions play a significant role in social interactions and communication. They help us empathize with others, form social bonds, and navigate social situations. Culturally, some societies place more value on emotions over logic, and this can also influence how we make decisions.
So, let’s access some of the best-known calls to action to “rehearse our lines”:
- Ronald Reagan: Win One For The Gipper.
- Winston Churchill: “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”
- Martin Luther King: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
- John F. Kennedy: “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.”
Understand that we, you, all of us are actors. To instill the emotions you desire, you must:
- Consider the action you wish to cause.
- Think creatively about how to reach the emotions of your team. What will truly resonate and be remembered?
- Rehearse that statement. Ideally in front of a mirror, or with a colleague/friend—or both.
- Remember that only about 30% to 40% of our communication is verbal, the rest is non-verbal. So, your call to action must be The Totality of You!
- And then let it fly. No holding back. People are not only listening. They are watching every move you make.