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, irrational and 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.
Where Exactly Does Genuine 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 First Began
In a recent trip to Oxford and Cambridge, 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…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 have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far ~ Daniel Goleman
Basic instinct, and no not the movie… has humans as hunters and gatherers, DNA tells us not to trust strangers or those who appear different. A therapeutic touch to someone…shows we care and can be trusted, or someone shaking their fists is a sign of anger and to stay away.
No words, decisions made beyond the consciousness. Perhaps more a part of who we are and not so much what we’ve learnt?
Scientists say that more than 90% of human behaviour is generated in the subconscious, and the rational conscious mind floats on top of this.
Tap into this, understand the biology and science behind human emotion and behaviour and watch your business grow!
Humans Are Built To Resist Change
Some love uncertainty, the unexpected, but whether you like it or not, most humans will resist change.
After talking to hundreds of business owners over the past few years, this is the number one challenge I see when they are undertaking new strategies and processes in their business.
When you start to push the status quo, your brain will tell you it’s wrong and does not feel right.
Your brain will resist what you are wanting to do, stress rises, overwhelm kicks in and you end up falling back on the trusted habits and responses you have learnt throughout life.
When you’re feeling reasonably safe and secure, the pre-frontal cortex, right behind your forehead allows the process of innovation.
Push too hard, and you immediately move towards the back of your brain…flight, fight or freeze kicks in.
You will either stand up to the threat, run for the hills or freeze and do nothing.
Think about the last time you wanted to make a big change in the way you do business, (for our clients, it’s adding a profitable lead generation, marketing and sales strategy to what they do using social media)…what did you do?
What did you want to do?
Perhaps the result did not equal the intention.
This is where the neuroscience comes in, the brain loves making patterns, automating whatever it can so that the level of conscious thought is at a minimum.
Most of the time, this is a fabulous phenomenon, however, there are times when you can be limited by what you have paid attention to. After all, there is so much in the environment and world that just doesn’t make it into this space in your brain.
If you don’t consciously work on the process to build new pathways, the resistance to change WILL stop you.
By taking the time to understand the basics of how your brain works, not to mention your customers and clients, you can then use this knowledge to capture what is really behind decisions…EMOTION!
Emotion In Business
You will have heard me say time and time again, you need to know who you are and who it is you want to work within your niche, to get a good return on investment of your time and money.
Think back to the store with the unhappy assistant. There may not have been any spoken negative words, but the customer knew how they felt, decided a course of action and walked out.
Lost sale, lost revenue, lost cash flow.
So where exactly does more emotion fit in business?
This doesn’t mean share all your deep secrets on Facebook, but it does mean being transparent.
If you try to be something you are not, your market will sniff it out before you even realise.
Commonly known as copy-cat marketing, one of the biggest mistakes I see on-line is where someone copies another’s marketing and makes it their own.
You DO need your voice, and it comes from within.
Not a rational process, but one filled with genuine emotion.
When it comes to content creation, what do you feel about stories, trends and competitors in your market?
Share your thoughts, disrupt if you have to…because that is where the magic is.
It doesn’t mean trolling and being disrespectful, it means an open and honest conversation about what matters to you and your niche.
An example of this is the holistic wellness market.
After speaking to many, many therapists and practitioners, the idea you can make money from providing the expertise and knowledge to their clients is a challenge.
I often hear…’I just want to help people’…’it is not about the money’.
That is true, but how do you expect to pay wages if you don’t charge what you are worth?
Be real, think about how you feel, share your emotions…and then add in the rational process of facts and figures.
Expose Yourself To Something New
Innovation does not happen on its own.
Science proves that daydreaming is an essential part of human growth.
This decade has an almighty focus on achieving as much as possible in the least amount of time possible.
With that said, the best innovation and creativity comes from a pool of what appears to be unrelated information.
Get into new environments, cultures, disciplines. Read, attend an event that has nothing to do with what you do, knit, learn a martial art, take up running. All of which have nothing to do with what do, but everything to do with who you are (aka; your brain).
There is a tendency to always action all we learn…go, go, go…
Take time to self-pollinate, let the process of creativity grow.
When you have tapped into how you feel about yourself, and what you do…add in self-pollination and BOOM, another revenue stream can be created.
Think outside the square…literally.
Fresh ideas bring new neural pathways. Create a safe place for people to speak up, a place to share insights.
I recently read an article of a café owner here in London, who owns 2-3 cafes in different locations.
The owner includes his employees in strategic discussions and allows them to put forward ideas on innovative ideas for the business.
The owner takes it a step further and funds the new idea, the staff map out and plan the idea, plus get given the chance to implement the idea into the business and get paid to do it.
Needless to say, staff turnover is low, profits are high and innovative ideas are rolled out all the time.
It sounds like this owner has worked out how his brain works and that of his team, working on connection, trust and excitement, which equals profit.
So does genuine emotion fit in business?
It is a definite yes!
Humans are built on emotion and it is the thing we know the least about…but have the most of.
Tap into how you feel.
When something happens, take note of how you feel…
That is the place that governs your decisions, not the P & L in front of you.
Of course, numbers never lie, and are critical to business, but how do they make you feel?
How you feel determines how you value something.
On the other side of the coin to money is value.
Value = Money = Value
If you’re looking for help to bring genuine emotion into your business, and to stand out in a crowded marketplace, CLICK HERE for my Stand Out Cheat Sheet