By Erick Brethenoux
Emotional moments can be the most powerful ones we experience. They are transient, yet long-lasting. They happen quickly but can dissolve in an instant, leaving us with a moment we may never forget. They are a big part of what makes us human.
If we could better understand the reasons and circumstances around particular emotional moments, we could better understand our clients, patrons and constituents. In fact, organizations are doing just that and using things like predictive analytics to uncover connections from data we gather on a daily basis.
In doing so, we’re uncovering familiar and unfamiliar patterns and trends and building “emotional models.” Through such models, brands and organizations can start better predicting the likelihood someone will purchase a product, choose a diet, or vote for a candidate. It is not just about understanding emotions, but recreating the conditions for those emotions to be felt again.
There are concerns, however. A fine line exists between being perceived as understanding or invasive. But analyzing emotions and getting close to people should not just be about selling more products. It should be about evoking and understanding emotions that help break solitude. This will create opportunities to share empathy and compassion.
It could even enable people to heal faster.
When my daughter was three-years old, she had to have tubes placed in her ears to help with chronic ear infections. What was interesting though was not how she healed, but how she helped others get better. Her surgeon explained that they scheduled operations on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the same days as the most difficult adult procedures. The adults would then recover in a large and common recovery room alongside the children. Why? Because empirical data proves that adults recover faster when exposed to small children who are also recovering.
How does this happen? Apparently the healing process calls on some of the deepest emotions about connection and caring which help support faster healing. Knowing this, we could potentially recreate positive experiences for a whole range of patients, all through emotional analytics.
If we can accomplish that, why can’t emotional analytics be used to discover what makes children learn more effectively? Or what makes citizens want to be more involved with local organizations? What drives someone to volunteer for a certain cause and where?
Through emotional analytics, these kinds of answers will be ready for us in just a matter of time. We have already started to explore this fascinating space. Now is the time to get emotionally connected.