Eaglei has given a number of talks over the past few months to different groups on the same topic – How to Make an Emotional Connection in Communication. Many people have commented that they find the subject thought provoking and this led me to think that it was time to share this with a wider audience.
Have you ever considered when watching a TV drama, film or play – when it has ended – what it was you remember most about what you have seen? The key aspects you are most likely to remember – that you can relate to – are the story/situation and the characters. The fact is that it is one or both (and it is usually the characters) that create an emotional response within you; the characters make you feel something eg happy, sad etc. Taking this idea a stage further, the things that we remember most clearly from our lives to date, are those moments that have touched us emotionally in some way ie family relationships, first boyfriend/girlfriend etc.
Now apply these same feelings and emotions to the world of business. While few people will openly admit that emotions have anything to do with the daily rigours of business, they most certainly do! For example, how good do you feel when receiving praise from your manager or a customer? Equally, who can easily forget the first time these same people reprimand or make a complaint about you?
The trouble is that all too often, we make a clear distinction between the personality we show at work and at home. The key question is why? After all, it is you – the same person. Of course, you use and display different skills and attributes at work and home, but it is still you! Why is it that you only allow yourself to display for example, 50% of what you would really like at work? And what happens to the other half? For example, how many times have you sat in a work meeting where you feel yourself disagreeing with something that is said, but you choose not to say anything? For whatever reason you bite your tongue, the meeting finishes and your chance has gone. Why did you consciously choose not to speak out? Why did you limit yourself in this way? Would you have said nothing if a similar scenario arose at home? The answer to these questions, more often than not, is fear (or extreme nerves): fear of saying the wrong thing, something stupid or just not being listened to or taken seriously.
If we relate this to any form of communication, it is of vital importance to give yourself permission to display the whole of you. In essence, what your audience are most likely to remember is you as opposed to for example, the product or service you are presenting. It is you they have come to see or meet with and it is your personality, energy and enthusiasm that will ultimately strike a chord and trigger an emotional response within them.
In the full talk on this subject, Eaglei discusses 10 practical techniques on how to overcome your fears and achieve an emotional connection with your audience.