You see it in the newspaper all the time, you watch it on YouTube, flick over it on your Facebook feed…the fight between rational, the irrational and varying degrees of emotion in business.

The stories of success…the easy way to build your business by working less and earning more.

Blueprints giving you the exact plan to make it work…step-by-step processes showing you exactly what they did.

Where rational decisions are based on numbers, fact, trends, analysis and definitely NOT emotion, not to mention a quick fix that really doesn’t exist.

WHERE EXACTLY DOES EMOTION FIT IN?

We like to think of ourselves as free spirits, doing what we love, working hard for our passion…but the truth is, we are driven far more by instinct than we realise.

In decades gone past, emotions were to be avoided, the line between the rational and emotion clear cut.

Boys don’t cry, fathers proudly telling their son’s to “man up” or “stop crying like a girl”.

This is not a history lesson or a discussion about cultural norms and how they have affected life, but rather a look at genuine emotion, and where it fits in your business.  What you share and what should remain private.

Given what neuroscience teaches about the human brain, it is fast becoming a mainstay in the business world.

Think about a time you have walked into a store, started to browse, the assistant walks over, clearly not having a good day.

They offer help, you decline, and within a minute or two walk out.

It happens in real estate, gyms, department stores, accountants, holistic health…wherever goods and services are exchanged.

Imagine going into another store, selling the same stuff as the previous store, the assistant walks over, greets you and starts a conversation NOT about what they are selling, and takes a genuine interest in you.

It is obvious they love what they do, are passionate about it…you feel the difference.

It’s not a rational decision being made, it’s an emotional one based on the way you feel.

You feel valued.

You feel respected.

 

WHERE IT BEGAN

Being rational in business has been around for hundreds of years with the scientific revolutioOxford, United Kingdomn.

I was fortunate to visit Oxford and Cambridge in the UK a few years back, Paul and I witnessed the love of sciences with the many colleges proudly founded on science in both university cities.

History is amazing and the colleges are as beautiful in reality as they are in books…think Agatha Christie, Inspector Morse and Lewis.

The centuries show our love of innovation, however, recent findings in neuroscience show that what may appear as rational thought, devoid of emotion, is, in fact, shortcuts where the brains neural pathways generate feelings which will guide you to either go towards or away from a decision.

Rational, fact-based, devoid of emotion processing, come from a history stored in these neural pathways, built on your past experiences, emotions and outcomes.

A shadowy, murky path and one scientists are learning more and more about.

Seeing the queues of people camped outside the Apple store to get the latest iPhone is a great example of how people feel, their emotions go beyond the rational in their decision-making processes.

Or attending a presentation, where the presenter and their slides left you feeling bored, frustrated at wasting your precious time.

In essence, their content was probably spot on, what was missing was the trust, approval and excitement of meeting your emotional needs.

If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and ha