It’s often when we’re surrounded by people that we feel the most alone.
Without connection, we feel isolated.
“I have done 35,000 interviews, there’s a common denominator in our human experience. The common denominator I found in every single interview is we want to be validated. We want to feel understood.” — Oprah Winfrey, Harvard University commencement speech
👆 And right there is one of the fundamentals of human relationships. If we don’t feel validated or understood there is no connection.
This is a deep human need. Some psychologists argue that feeling understood is more important than feeling loved.
It is also the key to creativity and building audiences.
Building audiences is simply building relationships with content.
This is why creativity is the distillation of our pain and experiences articulated in a way that makes others feel understood in a genuine way.
We build connections with people that get us. When I work with clients I’m always aiming to help them understand their personal brand on an emotional level.
I do this so they can connect authentically and deeply with their audience.
We make decisions emotionally and then use logic to justify them.
Antonio Damasio is a neuroscientist who made a groundbreaking discovery. He studied people with damage in the part of the brain (the limbic system) which controls emotions.
People were normal except they were unable to feel emotions.
They could describe what they should be doing in logical terms, yet they found it difficult to make even simple decisions, such as what to eat.
Shall I have chicken or beef? With no emotional input, people were unable to make a decision.
So emotions are critical for decision making. In fact, even what we believe to be logical decisions are in fact based on our emotions.
Every human interaction is based on emotion. Even negotiating with kidnappers and terrorists. Chris Voss is the former head of FBI negotiators teams. He wrote the best selling book, Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if your life depended on it
The #1 skill of any negotiation is not to convince your opponent with logic but with empathy. It is to understand how the other person is feeling. It is to make them feel heard and understood.
An authentic personal brand is no different. It’s connecting with empathy and having the compassion to do something about it.