What’s Your Emotional Impact?

Emotions. Tricky, slippery things.

They don’t fit neatly on a spreadsheet, they’re not easily quantifiable, they don’t have a direct cost associated with them and they don’t have a category on a balance sheet.

And yet they influence everything we do as individuals and they are probably one of the single most important factors affecting the bottom line of any business. Because the way we feel determines how we act.

There’s a balance to be struck between rational and emotional thinking.

One of the tensions in communications is that it’s often developed within a rational framework. Organisations need to see logic, left brain thinking, in order to assess, evaluate and decide on appropriate approaches. Presentations are structured on an A means B means C basis, to create arguments that resonate with our logical mind. Conviction at this stage comes from believing the evidence.

But the very people it’s actually designed for rarely, if ever engage with communications like this. The intended audience react on an instinctive, emotional level. They get a gut feel very quickly; they make their decisions with their right brain, they connect – or don’t - based on how they feel. Conviction at this stage comes from trusting in feelings.

Meaningful communication is more than just the facts.

That’s why emotional impact has to be at the heart of any meaningful communication. Amazing progress is being made in understanding the way our minds work and how this intuitive side of our lives works.

We can’t rely purely on our own instinctive judgment, we need some basis for evidence. But nor can businesses afford to ignore the real value of the emotional impact they create. It’s important to think about emotions and be willing to listen to what they have to say, even when it’s surprising and challenging.

The choice is not whether to, it’s how to.

Emotional impact is always there. It’s not an optional extra, because it’s hard wired into the way our brains work and how we make sense of the world around us. Whatever a business does it will create an emotional reaction.

The secret is to understand and encourage the right reaction to get the right impact.