Tag Archives: emotion

Empathy: The Wrong Tool?

empathyEmpathy. Understanding. Bridging the gap. A lot of progressive conversation following the election has been around these topics, and how to have productive conversations with people who at best, determined that a candidate’s racism, sexism, and xenophobia were not sufficient grounds to vote otherwise (and at worst, co-signed them). I’ve made some overtures toward that goal myself, and have been following the dialogue around how and whether to do that. One way in which my opinion has clarified in the last few weeks:I don’t think winning hearts and minds is the only goal, and it shouldn’t necessarily be prioritized.

Continue reading Empathy: The Wrong Tool?

Brand Personality Done Right: Timely Humor

Brand Personality Done Right- Timely HumorGot personality? Being quirky and unique in communications can pay off big for a brand. Or, it can fall flat if it’s poorly conceived or executed (or if the recipient just doesn’t jibe with it–something Aarron Walter says in Designing for Emotion may be a sign that you’ve successfully created an emotional experience). I just got a fun example of a brand with personality in my inbox, just in advance of a long Independence Day weekend and close on the heels of Britain’s controversial vote to exit the EU: Continue reading Brand Personality Done Right: Timely Humor

How Stories Are Special: Psychological and Neurological Rationales for Stories as Data

How Stories Are SpecialStories are one of the oldest and most common ways of communicating with other people. If you look at some of the most ancient knowledge still available to modern humans, it comes in the form of stories: Myths, legends, fairy tales, and religious texts. In modern times, we see more complex forms of schooling moving toward case-based methods of learning, as in many medical schools, business schools, and law schools. Why, out of all of the tools in the human communication toolkit, do stories have such longevity and power? Continue reading How Stories Are Special: Psychological and Neurological Rationales for Stories as Data

The Value of Fear

The Value of FearPeople’s natural instinct when confronted with a scary situation is to avoid it. On reflection, most of us realize the downside to running away from fear: Avoidance just intensifies the feelings of anxiety and makes it hard to focus on anything else. (Eric Barker has a nice write-up about facing your fears as a component of emotional resilience in his review of the book Resilience: The Science of Mastering LIfe’s Greatest Challenges.) Of course, avoiding something also means that thing remains undone, which can have negative consequences itself if it’s a needed medical treatment or a critical career builder. Continue reading The Value of Fear

Reshaping the “Mood Elevator”

Reshaping the -Mood Elevator-I recently completed a training for work that used a concept called the “mood elevator” to explain the emotions people might feel during the work day and how those impact performance and experience. The mood elevator describes a linear continuum of emotions with the most negative (“depressed”) at the bottom, and the most positive (“grateful”) at the top. The general idea is that people perform and feel better the closer they can get to the top of the mood elevator. The concept certainly has merit, but I think it can be improved. Continue reading Reshaping the “Mood Elevator”

Some Things Keep Getting Better, But Our Mood Isn’t One of Them

AmyBucherPhdIf you remember the male makeover hit of the early 2000s, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, you’ve heard the song that says “All things just keep getting better.” While this is not generally true (three words for you: fish, tuberculosis, taxes), it actually does seem to have some merit in describing a whole bunch of stuff going on in the world right now. Among the dimensions that have been improving in the past few decades are: Continue reading Some Things Keep Getting Better, But Our Mood Isn’t One of Them