If someone says I am emotional, under normal circumstances I might take offense. In this case, emotional is good.
Humans’ 3 Brains
Did you know humans have 3 brains? I am fascinated by this. First there is the reptilian brain that has been with humans since the beginning of time – millions of years ago. This is the fight or flight brain that gets some of us known for a fiery temper.
The second brain is the limbic brain and is known as your emotional brain, and it is what makes you feel the way you feel when exposed to strong stimulus (positive or negative). This is a key brain for retention of memories. We have a higher chance of retaining emotional memories than memories that target our third brain, the neuocortex or rational brain.
This rational brain researchers believe only developed in the last 150,000 years and is responsible for making decisions based on cold logic, reason, and data. It allows humans to plan for the future, think about the big picture, delay gratification and weigh facts and situations logically before moving forward.
When you communicate with others either in-person or in writing, the temptation is to be descriptive and mention your features and benefits. There is nothing wrong with this, except the chances of being remembered are really not that good.
Speak to the Emotional Brain
If you want someone to recall your conversation or your website blog post you need to devote some time talking to their limbic or emotional brain. Best way is being positive yourself. Go into any and every interaction or connection with a positive mindset. I know there are times when this is tough, but the more often you can pause and take a mindset check, the more likely you will leave a positive trail behind you.
During your interaction on paper (writing a post) or in-person have empathy for the problems or events going on in your client/customer’s life. No need to be drawn in to any negativity, but acknowledge the hardship and get out into a sunshiney place as soon as you can.
My short cut to switch to positive topics is to ask a positive focused question like “What would a great day today look like?” or “If you had unlimited resources today, what would you do?”
Stories are great too. Positive emotions arise when the story ends on a positive note: pride, overcoming troubled water, ending up in a better place than started out — a happy ending.
Positive Emotion Tactics for Connecting
Here are some easy to implement tactics to get your positive juices going and increase your chances of a connection that is remembered.
Smile – even if you have to fake it. Smiling elicits involuntary reactions for others to smile in response – try it out on some unsuspecting subjects.
Changing your body language can make a difference. Lifting your head and shoulders helps lift off any temporary discouragement you caught from a fellow worker.
If you have any anxiety, breathing in slowly and deeply will help relax you. Then have a positive memory to visualize or focus on. Actors use this technique to help them genuinely feel the emotions of the characters that they are portraying. You need it to bring back a positive emotional feeling.
Positive Emotional Ending
So, take a moment to imagine today being a fabulous day, a day to remember! What would it look like? Close your eyes and imagine for a moment.
Now open your eyes, and you should have positive emotions running up and down your spine. I am betting you will now remember this blog post. 🙂