14 Jun 2020

Minor Adjustments, Major Benefit — Preview of Optimize!2020 Session on June 18

For the brave, this Coronavirus season has created opportunity to try “old” things in new ways. These minor adjustments can have major benefit. Here is one that is easy to try: Use emojis in your business email (yes, even you lawyers and bankers).

The image of the human face with a smile or ruffled brow of concern can have a profound subconscious impact on the viewer. In our remote work world, without the human interaction of in-person client visits, in-office meetings, or in-person conferences, even a yellow animated emoji with a quasi-human face placed in context can initiate a favorable human bonding experience  – try it! 😉

Without getting too deep into the science behind it, this emoji phenomenon has to do with simple cues that can release the right hormone in readers, ones that can provide a positive aura while their brain interprets the content of your email. Putting the reader in a positive mindset before they process the content of your message can help guide their brain into interpreting the words they see with a more positive hue.

The human brain is wired to naturally start off in fight-or-flight mode. Upon observing the environment – or context – it can instantly tip into life-is-good mode or lock into fight-or-flight mode.

Your ability to virtually cue your staff, clients, or prospects into life-is-good mode can fantastically improve your business success – especially in these uncertain, virtual, and isolated work-from-home times.

When you engage in a positive way, as Dr. Jonathan Silk, a decorated Army veteran, purple heart recipient, and CEO of business coaching firm, Bridge3 explains, the people you are virtually interacting with (e.g. reading your email, listening on a web meeting) benefit from a surge of oxytocin hormone levels, which is the neurotransmitter in their brain that supports bonding behavior and positive emotions associated with trust. If they start reading your email with this trusting emotional aura, they are more likely to proceed with the business topic in a mutually favorable manner. Success!

In the old days, this was done by entering a business meeting with a smile, a warm handshake, an enthusiastic pat on the back. Virtually, this can be done as easily as placing an appropriately happy emoji in your email opening sentence. Or, you can be the first to turn on your video in your next web meeting and open with a warm smile and calming facial expression. You will be amazed at the oxytocin-hormone-induced difference. Minor adjustments can have a major benefit.

Failing to do this – or worse – opening your email with all caps, bold caps underlined, or even adding comments in red text (vs. blue text) – will quickly lock the reader into fight-or-flight mode by releasing more cortisol into your reader’s brain, as Dr. Silk further explains. Cortisol is the hormone that prepares the body and brain to respond to danger, focusing an individual’s cognitive resources to deal with the threat at hand. If your staff, client, or prospect feels threatened, even in some subconscious cortisol-hormone-induced way, they will find it hard to focus on their work or your proposal. Productivity may drop, and you may lose the deal.

In the absence of virtual trust (email with red text, bold, all caps, or a web meeting with a phone symbol instead of your face), negative emotions prevail, and the reader will have a subconscious level of anxiety, fear, or perhaps, anger, which will translate to lower levels of engagement and overall success.

With virtual trust (happy emojis, sincere smile in video meeting), a subconscious feeling of bonding, trust, and willingness to please prevails–a life-is-good feeling and more business success!

Try this and other helpful tips related to e-sign and e-security that panelists will share at Optimize!2020 on June 18.

(This week, Tech Essentials will be sharing some of the insights that more than 50 panelists will share at RPost’s Optimize!2020 virtual conference, in rapid-fire peer-and-expert panel discussions. Optimize!2020’s focus is to help businesses optimize e-sign, e-security and e-communications for today’s challenges, especially making minor (affordable) adjustments that can bring major benefit. Register to attend free for June 18.

P.S. For those that don’t know how to add an emoji to email, in most programs if you type (:) it auto-converts to a happy face, or to add a wink smile, type (;)