Information doesn’t create change, feelings do


There’s an old paradigm that emotions don’t belong in the workplace. Even the concept of EQ – Emotional Intelligence Quotient – tends to emphasize the control of emotions.

Women can be especially sensitive to these messages; there’s a long history of women being dismissed as other than rational, especially in work settings.

But if you want to make a big impact in any aspect of your career, ignoring emotions – your own as well as others’ – will hold you back.

That’s because information alone doesn’t change people’s behaviors, actions, or even opinions. Feelings do.

Marketers have understood this fundamental truth for ages. They recognize that to create lasting impact, their messages have to appeal to people’s emotions.

The same principle applies to you and your aspirations for transformative change – for yourself, for your workplace, or for the broader impact you and your organization can have on the world.

Old paradigms and comfort zones persist until emotions grow big enough to show them for what they are. And only when the emotions are big enough can we overcome the entropy or fear that keep us from taking the risk of making big changes.

When a teenager is told he’ll never amount to anything and his defiance is bigger than his circumstances, he might go on to inspiring achievements.

Experiencing the devastating heartbreak over and over when one small problem spirals another family downward into homelessness, the passion of a social worker might fuel her to build a nonprofit that changes the pattern.

The day a black woman’s indignation is bigger than her fear, she might ignite a movement by taking her rightful seat on the bus.

A powerful surge of emotion – anger, frustration, a deep sense of injustice, or profound and spine-tingling inspiration – can propel you to make transformative change. And you can harness the power of others as allies and collaborators when you effectively appeal to their most powerful emotions.

You already have the tools to tap into this transformative power. You may not have considered how you can use them to unlock potential in your career.

Empathy – By recognizing and relating to the emotions of those around you, you can create deep connections and resonate with others on a profound level.

Authenticity – Bravely sharing your experiences and emotions invites others to be vulnerable, fostering connections and opportunities for change.

Story-telling – You control a powerful catalyst for change when you communicate in a way that evokes emotions in others.

Community-building – Surround yourself with like-minded individuals, committed to making a difference; you’ll amplify each other’s voices and create a supportive network to make change happen.

Bold action – Embracing your own discomfort and taking calculated risks strengthens your resolve, builds your confidence, and serves as an inspiring role-model for others.

Wise minds throughout the ages have recognized the transformative power of human emotion:

“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion.” – Dale Carnegie

“The only way to change someone’s mind is to connect with them from the heart.” – Rasheed Ogunlaru

“The essential difference between emotion and reason is that emotion leads to action while reason leads to conclusions.” – Donald Calne

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

“If you have a deep emotion, keep it close and make it speak when you need it most.” – John Mayer

“The brain thinks, but the heart knows.” – Joe Dispenza

Your career deserves the transformative power of emotions. You have everything you need to unleash it and create a ripple effect of positive change.

Lorri Anderson

Lorri Anderson

Lorri Anderson is an expert consultant to businesses and a powerful coach to individuals. After a long and rich career as a strategic HR executive, she is driven to give back by changing the Human Experience in today’s workplaces, one business or human at a time.

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