If you are like most people, you will probably know when you are happy, sad, angry, and afraid. But do you know why you are feeling that way or what may have contributed to it? Surprisingly, many people are not aware of their emotions or recognize how their emotions influence their behaviors. They may be unaware of how their emotions and emotion-based behaviors affect others. Furthermore, they may be doubly unaware how other’s emotions affect them in return.
The problem has been that for far too long emotions have been considered the refuge of the weak and inappropriate in a business or public setting, especially for authorities and professionals. However, the core of your marketing is creating relationships… and relationships are forged in monitoring and understanding of emotions.
Being an effective marketer means being a relationship-based marketer. Specifically, you are aware of your emotional states as well as those of your prospects and clients. It also means learning how to adapt your emotions to the situation and to your prospects and clients. You can use this awareness to communicate, connect, and influence.
This is imperative if you are to keep your communication channels open, enhance attention, listening, comprehension, understanding, and resolution of conflicts and problems with prospects and clients.
In other words, acknowledgment, acceptance, and strategic use of emotions is what makes your legal practice and marketing either thrive… or flounder. It is all in making and reinforcing the connection. But before you can become attuned to the emotions of others, you need to become attuned to your own by doing an Emotional Tune Up.
You need to get a pen and paper and make a chart. On the left list the following emotions: Happy, Sad, Surprised, Tired, Angry, Grouchy, Nervous, Excited, Down, Helpful, Distracted. Across the page write the numbers 1-7.
Above #1 put “Definitely Don’t Feel.” Over the middle numbers put “Feel Somewhat.” And over #7 put “Definitely Feel.” First circle the number that best describes how you feel right now on each emotion. Next answer the following questions for each circled number:
A. Why are you feeling this way?
B. What have you been doing that may have contributed to the feeling?
C. What have you been thinking that may have contributed to this feeling?
D. What would you expect to feel next based upon this?
E. What is your present overall mood?
F. How desirable do you consider this mood?
G. How would you like to feel?
H. What ideas do you have to change your emotional situation (including emotion triggers and maintainers)?
You should do this exercise daily for a month then switch the subject to another person. You make the same assessment of them. Where possible, ask the other person to confirm or deny your evaluations of their emotional states. You can have fun with it as you increase your awareness and receptivity to emotions. You might also notice that you will strengthen your relationship with that other person in the process.