7 Reasons why your business needs emotions

For scientists, emotions are the result of a chemical interaction in your brain. Whether you are feeling happy or sad might simply be the result of hormonal production — serotonin to be exact. Whether you accept the chemical definition or not, you can’t argue with the fact that depression disorders can be addressed with antidepressants that are designed to increase or decrease specific hormonal levels. In other words, even if people prefer to think of their emotions as unique motions of their inner selves, there’s no denying that what you feel can be managed through chemical treatments. Are you truly what you feel or are you the result of a chemical reaction? It’s the eternal question of the chicken and the egg: What started the first sparkle of emotion doesn’t matter in the end. What matters at a personal and professional level is that emotions not only exist but can be part of your business strategy to success. Your business needs emotions, and here’s why:

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#1. People need to belong to perform

The human being is a social creature that needs to belong to a tribe. Admittedly in the case of the human race, we call it a group, community, neighbourhood, team. A sense of belonging to a greater entity is the essential behaviour that dictates most human activities. From simple things, such as using social media appreciation as a sign of a positive integration — aka the more likes you get, the more you belong — to making your team feel like an integral part of the business strategy, belonging is a social requirement. Belonging, you might argue, is a feeling built on mutual respect, empathy and security. You belong because you know that you are respected, understood and safe with the group, and because you understand the group’s value. As you feel integrated into the community, your will to support the community leads to high productivity and quality input, as you perceive the community’s objective as an extension of your interests.

 #2. Emotion recognition enhances trust

As a rule of the thumb, people who can convey and read emotions are better communicators. It’s easy to understand why. You wouldn’t trust a manager who sees an employee in tears and yet continues to delegate tasks to them as if everything were normal. At the very minimum, you’d expect managers to follow procedures to deal with their staff’s emotions, from respecting the employee bereavement leave guide to knowing when they’re pushing someone too much out of their comfort zone. Understanding emotions and how to deal with them effectively is the first step of building emotional trust in your workplace.  As it happens, a leader who is able to show his human side and to develop empathy for employee needs of recognition and self-value, is a leader who can actively improve productivity and motivation at work.

#3. Positive emotions for a successful workplace

There’s a disparate argument that claims that emotions and work don’t mix, while asserting that employees are expected to be motivated, if not excited, by the business growth. First of all, motivation is the result of an emotional decision instead of a reasoned choice. You may not that you have to finish a specific task by the end of the day, but it doesn’t mean that doing it excites you. You need an emotional connection to your work to feel positive emotions about it. Additionally, emotions are a vital element of what you bring to the workplace. Creating an environment of positive emotions where employees feel happy, relaxed and focused is key to building a collaborative and productive team.

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#4. Emotions at the core of your customer bonds

At a purely business level, emotions are part of new and effective customer retention and acquisition strategies. Built on an emotional hook, via online communication and advertising, these strategies are designed to make the customers feel sad, happy, upset or surprised as a mean to induce a shopping behaviour. From IKEA’s TV ads that builds a sense of a joyful and loving family life to army recruitment communication reinforcing the sense of belonging for their viewers, brands have abandoned the conventional USP approach to build an emotional bond with their potential customers.

#5. You can’t lead the way without emotions

A great leader is not only someone who knows in which direction the business strategy should evolve, but it’s also someone who identifies, understands, controls and assesses the emotions around themselves. Without emotional intelligence, you can’t gain the trust of your team. At the core of successful leadership, there’s a mixture of compassion, respect and authenticity that inspires others to trust your lead. As you can’t lead without inspiring positive emotions — a leadership built on fear is doomed to fail — you need to master and understand the feelings that connect people.

#6. Being passionate about giving back

Your business values, as much as your personal values, are scrutinised by the public in the process of deciding which company they trust with their purchase. Elements of price and delivery are given attention, but they by no mean can convince a potential buyer. The causes and communities your business sponsors, on the other hand, can become a deal maker. For customers, companies that are passionate about giving back to the community without considering the ROI. The big difference between tax evasion strategies and genuine care for a good cause, that’s the sweet spot that potential customers look at before taking a decision. Can they trust that you care about saving children in Africa, supporting cancer patients, {insert other cause}? If so, you’ve got yourself a new customer.

#7. Connect with the younger generations

Emojis are changing the way people communicate online. For the younger generations, emojis display your attitude. As they begin to replace words in online interactions, the right emoji can build a quick and effective bond with the young audience, while using the wrong combination will be ignored.

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A business without emotional structure is not only old-fashioned but it’s doomed to fail to address the surge of digital emotional displays, or emojis, that is at the heart of Millennials lifestyle. From I like your brand to I <3 your brand; it’s a long emotional journey to success.

*This is a contributed post

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