In this video, Lisa and Elizabeth share the language tools to get immediate action and long-term buy in for your ideas.
- When was the last time you felt inspired? And what made you feel that way? It was probably related to an intense level of emotion and there's a science behind that. Neuroscientist Paul Zak researched the physiological impact of emotional stories. He measure the blood of participants before and after he told them either a emotional story or a flat narrative. Both with the aim to get the participants to donate money. Now the flat narrative did not increase oxytocin and participants did not report any empathy for the story's characters.
Those who were subject to the emotive story were willing to give 56% more money to the later revealed, made up causes in the story. He concluded that the emotionally engaging narratives inspire post-narrative action. So what we can learn from Dr. Zak's experiments? If you want people to act, you have to make them feel. Now you can make people fear you. And they'll act in the short term. But as an informal leader, you want to develop a more sustainable approach.
You want people to be inspired to help you, buy into your ideas and work hard for your organization. The more you can help an individual see that picture in their mind, the more emotionally impacted they'll be. So paint mental pictures of your customers, the impact on projects you've done or in some cases, the consequences of not doing whatever you need to do. Include names when you can, details, how the other people feel, and the lasting impact you had on them.
Telling one story about a specific customer can sustain people on their worst days because it allows them to connect the dots from what they're doing to who it's impacting. Now let's say you work in distribution for a plumbing company. Which story sounds more appealing to you? Our customers are depending on us to get these orders out on time. Or I remember hearing about the Jones family in Washington. They had six-week old twins when their basement flooded and the wife, Karen, was really, really nervous about the mold and the moisture in their house.
And they were living in her mom's basement waiting for their house to be fixed. With both babies and all their stuff in this cramped little room, it put a lot of stress on their new family but because we got those parts there on time, they were able to get back in their house in just two weeks. And they were confident that home was safe for their children. Now there are thousands of families just like the Jones' who are depending on us to get these materials out on time.
Who do you want to work with? Now you don't need to lie or overly exaggerate. Just authentically bring that emotion to the front and center of your organization. You'll help others feel inspired and you'll probably feel more inspired yourself. People are looking for that meaning and inspiration. And they gravitate to those who provide it.
- Listening mindfully
- Being a mentor
- Inspiring others
- Asking for and giving feedback
- Leading in high-stakes situations
- Learning continuously
- Building trust