Friday, October 24, 2008

Emotional Rescue

I love that phrase. 'Emotional rescue' strikes the right note during weeks of meltdowns and bailouts. This is a time of high emotion indeed, so multi-billion dollar rescue packages can’t do the job alone. They need emotion.

In Lovemarks, I talked about the primary human emotions. We’re talking Joy, Sorrow, Anger, Fear, Surprise and Disgust. Have those six had a workout in recent weeks! People are struggling to work out who’s to blame and what the future holds for them! These are the emotions that are brief, intense and cannot be controlled. This period of turmoil comes into more constructive focus when we get to the six secondary emotions. Love, Guilt, Shame, Pride, Envy and Jealousy. What’s relevant is how social they are. You can feel the primary emotions when you’re alone, but for the secondary ones you need someone else around. Someone to love, someone to be proud of. This is the volatile mix from which human relationships are formed and human responses to the world are shaped.

John Bargh of New York University claims that everything is evaluated as good or bad within a quarter of a second. No wonder confidence can evaporate in a heartbeat and disgust and anger kick in. No one can feel we are at our best when business leaders are taunted and abused, but we all understand it emotionally. In the coming weeks the negative dynamic of our emotional DNA will be tested further. It’s evolutionary. Our emotions tell us what’s important and in our ancient past it was smart to pay the most attention to the bad stuff. Pay attention with our emotion and reason, evaluate and then either take action or move on.

Right now the same deeply human process will kick in. The result we are all hoping for is that word you see everywhere today: Confidence. I’ve always liked the pattern that connects the words beginning with the letter 'c'. It might not be logical but it feels intuitively true. Start with Community and Connection. Add Collaboration and the big 'C' of Communication. What’s the pattern that attracts me to these words? They are all fundamental to our future as a connected and connecting world economy. It’s not about globalization any more. It’s about connections that run in all directions at all scales. A community of human beings supporting, trusting and respecting each other. This is the only way to the confidence our markets have lost so dramatically and the real bottom line we need to re-orient ourselves to: Creativity inspired by Consumers.

1 comment:

Piotr Jakubowski said...

I think what John Bargh is also talking about is the fact that we make assumptions about others just by looking at them from the outside. Quarter of a second. Definitely learned that this is not the right way to go.

The Laws of Attraction is a great exploration into this concept, of how certain attitudes, actions and impressions reflect on who we attract.

Aren't the fundamentals of globalization based on connecting to others?