Inner Wealth Perspective

Law of Balance: Logical Mind Vs. Emotional Heart
Segment 8

Emotion: Winning People’s Hearts, Stealing Their Minds

While logic is the language of the conscious mind, emotion is the language of the unconscious mind. We know that emotions are reactions to perceived and imagined stimuli, not based on logic, but on one’s own personal experiences. Emotions often outweigh our logic. Imagine placing a plank of wood on the ground and walking its length a few times. Easy enough, right? But suppose you placed it a hundred feet in the air between two buildings. You know you can walk that plank—you just did it over and over again. Yet now, emotions and fears outweigh logic. Your “what-ifs” and your imagination supersede the concrete knowledge of your ability to walk the plank.

In his book Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman asserts that understanding emotions is more pertinent to leading a successful life than having a high IQ. Often people of high intelligence struggle at work because of their weaknesses in fundamental human relation skills. Goleman calls this skill “emotional intelligence.” He emphasizes that emotional intelligence largely determines our success in relationships, work, and even physical wellness. Emotional intelligence “is a type of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use the information to guide one’s thinking and actions.” Emotional intelligence includes emotional management, personal motivation, empathy, self-awareness, and social skills.

When you are persuading someone, emotions provide the springboard for a successful execution of your argument. In fact, I would even say emotions are the energy and very fuel of the persuasion process. Without tapping into your audience’s emotions, there is no strength or energy in your message. Emotion is a power you can harness and use in practically every aspect of persuasion. Remember, logic is important, but emotion helps you catapult an otherwise dull or flat exchange to the next level. Consider the following advantages of emotion over logic:

  1. Arousing the emotions of your audience engages them and distracts them from your intention to persuade.
  2. Emotion requires less effort than logic. Logic solicits cognitive effort, whereas emotion is automatic.
  3. Presentations aimed at engaging the audience’s emotions are usually more interesting than logical ones.
  4. Emotion-based arguments are often easier to recall than logic-based arguments.
  5. Emotion almost always leads more quickly to change than logic does.

You must know when to create positive or negative emotions and when to dispel negative emotions. You have to find ways to tap into your prospects’ emotions, such as hope, love, pride, gratitude, and excitement. If you can do this, you can inspire anyone. Decide ahead of time what emotional climate you want to create, capture those emotions within yourself, and you’ll be surprised how you can transfer those emotions to your audience.

Types of Emotions: Emotional Mastery
Over the centuries, philosophers have tried to categorize the very many complex emotions of humanity—no easy task. Aristotle came up with fourteen emotions. Other philosophers argued emotions are largely influence by one’s time period and culture. We will focus on a few major, elemental emotions, both positive and negative. In the persuasive process, you want to eliminate negative emotions while constructing positive emotions. You don’t want your message to end with negative feelings.

When your prospect is worried or preoccupied with something occurring now or about to happen in the future, your ability to persuade declines. Worry is feeling anxious, uneasy, or concerned about something that will or has happened. I have heard worry referred to as “negative goal setting.” Anxiety creates tension—a fear that occupies our thoughts, which, if encouraged, will grow and continue to dominate our thoughts.

You can combat worry in your prospects by modifying their anxiety into thoughts of reality. Bring them back to reality by having them realize we can’t change many things in life. Stress that most of the things we worry about are those very things we can’t change and won’t likely ever happen in the first place. Help your prospects substitute their negative mental images with positive ones.

Fear is anxiety or tension caused by danger, apprehension, harm, pain, or destruction. The possibility of harm can be real or imagined. Fear motivates and moves us away from unpleasant circumstances or potential destruction. Fear persuades us to do many things we might not otherwise do. We buy life insurance, air bags, home alarms, and guns out of fear.

Fear does not work in every circumstance, however. If we were solely motivated by fear, we would never speed or start smoking. The proper dose of fear is essential in persuasion. If the dose is too small, it will not stimulate action. If the fear is too large, it will trigger resistance and acceptance will decrease. For fear to stick and create action and persuasion, it must include the following steps:

  1. The image of fear must be unpleasant, such as threat of pain, destruction, or grief.
  2. It must be imminent. Your prospects must feel not only that the fearful event is likely to happen, but also that they could be victimized by its occurrence. They must feel vulnerable.
  3. You must provide a solution to the fear. Give your prospects a recommended action to suspend or eliminate the fear.
  4. Your prospects must believe they are capable of doing what is asked of them and that doing so will work for them.

Anger is a secondary emotion. It is usually an indicator that something else is askew and/or that your prospect needs and wants attention. You can assist in subsiding a person’s anger by determining the key issue he is upset about. It is also often effective to ask for his help, opinions, or advice. This will usually diffuse his anger or even change his attitude and demeanor completely. In some circumstances, a persuader may want to use anger to make a certain point or to evoke a certain reaction.

Sympathy and Compassion

You can generate action for your cause by creating sympathy for it. When we see others victimized by misfortune that was beyond their control, we feel more sympathetic toward them and more motivated to help them. You’ve probably seen this technique used by marketers when they show you pictures of starving children, battered women, abandoned animals, and disabled adults.

Jealousy is the pain caused by seeing others’ good fortune, not because we want what they have, but because we resent them for having it. The cause of jealousy is the false perception that one’s worth lies in the possession of those goods.

Shame is pain and disrespect felt in connection to regrettable behaviors, experiences, or events. It often involves disgrace or loss of respect for oneself because we feel we have fallen in the eyes of our family, friends, or loved ones. We feel shame because of our vices, our abuses, or any of our perceived failures.

Pity is pain we feel toward someone who has been unjustly trespassed against. We often feel pity for others due to death, injury, sickness, calamity, natural disaster, accidents, and so on. We can feel pity for people who are close to us as well as people we don’t know at all.

When using emotions in persuasion, remember to pay attention to the circumstances that surround your speech. Aristotle highlighted three aspects you should consider:

  1. The nature of the actual experience (funeral, party, sporting event, fundraiser, or business meeting).
  2. Those toward whom the message will be directed (blue or white collar, male or female, religion, race, common interests, or hobbies).
  3. The likely emotion that will be created in participants (what is going to happen?).

Excerpts taken from Magnetic Persuasion by Kurt Mortensen

Kurt Mortensen, author of Exponential Success Skills and Weapons of Influence, is one of American’s leading authorities on Persuasion, Motivation and Influence. After receiving a Masters of Business Administration and a Bachelors of Arts, he began many successful entrepreneurial ventures, through which he has acquired many years of both experience and success. In addition to his extensive entrepreneurial and sales experiences, Kurt is a sales and persuasion coach helping thousands of people reach higher levels of success, income and persuasion mastery. Currently, he is a speaker, consultant, and a Trainer for Mark Victor Hansen and Robert G. Allen Protégés.

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