Neuroscience and a Dose of Emotional Intelligence Reveal a Simple Trick to Learn More With Less Effort

Neuroscience and a Dose of Emotional Intelligence Reveal a Simple Trick to Learn More With Less Effort

A producer for a television business show called and asked if I was available. He described the theme of the segment and asked if I had any ideas. I offered some possibilities.

“That sounds great,” he said. “We’re live in 30 minutes. And I need you to say exactly what you just said.”

“Ugh,” I thought. I’m not great at repeating exactly what I just said. So I started rehearsing.

Ten minutes later, he called to talk about a series he was developing. I almost asked him if we could postpone that conversation so I could use the time to keep rehearsing, but I figured since I had already run through what I would say two times, I would be fine.

Unfortunately, I was right. I was fine. Not outstanding. Not exceptional. Just … fine. My transitions were weak. My conclusion was more like a whimper than a mic drop. And I totally forgot one of the major points I wanted to make.

Which, according to Hermann Ebbinghaus, the pioneer of quantitative memory research, should have come as no surprise.

Ebbinghaus is best known for two major findings: the forgetting curve and the learning curve.

The forgetting curve describes how new information fades away. Once you’ve “learned” something new, the fastest drop occurs in just 20 minutes; after a day, the curve levels off.

Wikimedia Commons inline image

Wikimedia Commons

Yep: Within minutes, nearly half of what you’ve “learned” has disappeared.

Or not.

According to Benedict Carey, author of How We Learn, what we learn doesn’t necessarily fade; it just becomes less accessible. In my case, I hadn’t forgotten a key point; otherwise I wouldn’t have realized, minutes after, that I left it out. I just didn’t access that information when I needed it.

Ebbinghaus would have agreed with Carey: He determined that even when we think we’ve forgotten something, some portion of what we learned is still filed away.

Which makes the process of relearning a lot more efficient.

Suppose that the poem is again learned by heart. It then becomes evident that, although to all appearances totally forgotten, it still in a certain sense exists and in a way to be effective. The second learning requires noticeably less time or a noticeably smaller number of repetitions than the first. It also requires less time or repetitions than would now be necessary to learn a similar poem of the same length.

That, in a nutshell, is the power of spaced repetition.

Courtesy curiosity.com inline image

Courtesy curiosity.com

The premise is simple. Learn something new, and within a short period of time you’ll forget much of it. Repeat a learning session a day later, and you’ll remember more.

Repeat a session two days after that, and you’ll remember even more. The key is to steadily increase the time intervals between relearning sessions.

And — and this is important — to make your emotions work for you, not against you, forgive yourself for forgetting. To accept that forgetting — to accept that feeling like you aren’t making much progress — is actually a key to the process.

Why?

  • Forgetting is an integral part of learning. Relearning reinforces earlier memories. Relearning creates different context and connections. According to Carey, “Some ‘breakdown’ must occur for us to strengthen learning when we revisit the material. Without a little forgetting, you get no benefit from further study. It is what allows learning to build, like an exercised muscle.”
  • The process of retrieving a memory — especially when you fail — reinforces access. That’s why the best way to study isn’t to reread; the best way to study is to quiz yourself. If you test yourself and answer incorrectly, not only are you more likely to remember the right answer after you look it up, you’ll also remember that you didn’t remember. (Getting something wrong is a great way to remember it the next time, especially if you tend to be hard on yourself.)
  • Forgetting, and therefore repeating information, makes your brain assign that information greater importance. Hey: Your brain isn’t stupid.

So what should I have done?

While I didn’t have days to prepare, still. I could have run through my remarks once, taken a five-minute break, and then done it again.

Even after five minutes, I would have forgotten some of what I planned to say. Forgetting and relearning would have reinforced my memory since, in effect, I would have quizzed myself.

Then I could have taken another five-minute break, repeated the process, and then reviewed my notes briefly before we went live.

And I should have asserted myself and asked the producer if we could talk about the series he was developing later.

Because where learning is concerned, time is everything. Not large blocks of time, though. Not hours-long study sessions. Not sitting for hours, endlessly reading and rereading or practicing and repracticing.

Nope: time to forget and then relearn. Time to lose, and then reinforce, access. Time to let memories and connections decay and become disorganized and then tidy them back up again. Because information is only power if it’s useful. And we can’t use what we don’t remember.

Source: Neuroscience and a Dose of Emotional Intelligence Reveal a Simple Trick to Learn More With Less Effort | Inc.com

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Critics:

Learning is the process of acquiring new understanding, knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, attitudes, and preferences. The ability to learn is possessed by humans, animals, and some machines; there is also evidence for some kind of learning in certain plants. Some learning is immediate, induced by a single event (e.g. being burned by a hot stove), but much skill and knowledge accumulate from repeated experiences. The changes induced by learning often last a lifetime, and it is hard to distinguish learned material that seems to be “lost” from that which cannot be retrieved.

Human learning starts at birth (it might even start before) and continues until death as a consequence of ongoing interactions between people and their environment. The nature and processes involved in learning are studied in many fields, including educational psychology, neuropsychology, experimental psychology, and pedagogy. Research in such fields has led to the identification of various sorts of learning.

For example, learning may occur as a result of habituation, or classical conditioning, operant conditioning or as a result of more complex activities such as play, seen only in relatively intelligent animals. Learning may occur consciously or without conscious awareness. Learning that an aversive event can’t be avoided nor escaped may result in a condition called learned helplessness.

There is evidence for human behavioral learning prenatally, in which habituation has been observed as early as 32 weeks into gestation, indicating that the central nervous system is sufficiently developed and primed for learning and memory to occur very early on in development.

References

How To Emotionally Support Your Customers Through Content

Your customers make 35,000 decisions each day, and emotions play a role in a staggering 90% of their day. This means there’s major overlap, and the bulk of those decisions are made when your customers are emotional.If you’re not prioritizing your customers’ emotions in all of your content creation, you’re potentially making most of their decisions (say, 31,500 of them) harder than they have to be — including the one where they choose, or don’t choose, your brand.

Here’s why emotionally supporting your customers through content isn’t just good practice; it’s vital for impacting your target audience’s buying decisions, and, ultimately, your bottom line. More importantly, how to do it the right way.If you think emotions are a casual afterthought in your audience’s buying decisions, think again.

When used proactively, you can use emotional marketing to steer both your prospective and current customers to become loyal, lifetime fans of your brand.

Why are emotions so powerful? Simply put, they impact your decisions — big and small.As for how decisions are influenced, here’s a quick synopsis of what happens in your brain.You have three brains: the lizard brain, the emotional brain, and the rational brain.

  • Your emotional brain is responsible for your limbic system and wins more arguments than your rational brain.
  • Your lizard brain, the brain way under and older than the emotional brain, triggers fight-or-flight mode and wins even more.
  • Your rational brain is there to justify the decisions of the other two — like a wingman, but it’s not really responsible for making them.

What does this all mean for your business?

While it’s not practical to appeal to your audience’s lizard brain in your marketing messages — no need to thrust anyone into fight-or-flight mode — it’s definitely worth appealing to their emotional brain. This engages your limbic system and draws them toward your brand.On the frontend of your marketing strategy, you can use emotional marketing to help connect with your target audience’s emotional brain and persuade them to make a purchase.

In fact, one study of 1,400 ad campaigns found that ads with purely emotional content performed twice as well ( i.e. 31% vs. 16% ) as ads with only rational content.After they convert, you can tap into your customer’s emotions and support them during their user experience (UX).After all, there’s a lot riding on a good customer experience, given that 32% of customers would leave a brand they love after just one bad customer experience.

How’s that for brand loyalty?

To keep your customers happy, make sure you create a UX that matches the rational brain with the emotional brain.Why? All forms of competition between the rational brain and emotional brain will be a bad experience for users.The point here is you can make a strong emotional connection with anyone who comes in touch with your brand — whether prospective, new, or repeat customers — so it’s worth hitting on the right ones, which will ultimately contribute to your bottom line.

As for making an emotional connection with your target audience the right way, here’s how to do it.

Recommended Reading:How to Easily Measure Marketing ROI With a Simple Formula and a Template

Your content shouldn’t just be about getting your point across and promoting your business, products, or services. You should be able to connect with your customers on a personal level and make them feel heard and understood. Here are some ideas on how to do so.Whether it’s new visitors to your site or returning loyal customers, you can support your audience through the content in your live chat conversations.

To make an emotional connection, first and foremost, provide a space for your contacts to be heard. In other words, allow them to vent and don’t forget to really listen. Let your target audience know their point of view matters.Sadly, this isn’t the norm. In fact, people dedicate only about 55% of their time to listening. This makes sense, considering the average person hears between 20,000 and 30,000 words within a 24-hour period. Needless to say, we indulge in the daily bad habit of not truly listening.

Sure, it’s not realistic to solve the world’s problems through a live chat, but you can make an emotional connection with your target audience by letting them express their emotions.Even if it’s a simple chatbot prompt, like this chat message that asks how their site visitors feel.Emojis and all, it immediately puts the conversation into an emotional context, which opens the door for people to trust you with their problem.

To make the right emotional connection with your live chat visitors, use positivity and supportive phrasing as you engage in chats.REVE Chat, for instance, recommends using affirmative words to help create a positive customer experience, like:

  • Great
  • Wonderful
  • Excellent
  • Absolutely
  • Awesome
  • Amazing
  • Certainly
  • Definitely
  • Fantastic

You can also ask follow-up questions, clarify an agreement, and make sure you’ve done everything you can to understand how to help your target audience.Provide Support Live Chat recommends using these phrases to verify you understand your target audience properly:

  • “Let me check that I have this right…”
  • “Let me see if I have this correct, you want me to…” or “You would like for me to…?”
  • “If I understand you correctly…”
  • “You are saying that… correct?”

That way, you can share content and the right supportive resources at the right time — instead of sending a frustrated or curious user something irrelevant to their unique situation. Do this and watch the positive emotions shine through your conversations.The same concept of listening first, and then validating and offering an emotional response that supports their perspective, applies to your interactions in any online community, too.

From Facebook Groups and online forums to designated comment logs and social media, respond to every comment and let every contact know they’re being heard and taken seriously. After learning about a target audience member’s problem accessing Amy’s podcast episode, Joshua sent over a helpful piece of content in the form of a resource link.

The main takeaway is, regardless of the channel, provide a space for your target audience to be heard and use that to inform your content creation. After all, your target audience (including their emotions) should be at the heart of your business. If you use our next tip correctly, it’s a big indicator that you’re listening to your target audience.

Reflect Your Customer’s Exact Language Back to Them

Another way to emotionally support your customers through content is to use your target audience’s exact language and phrasing in your content. What’s the best source for gathering their verbiage? Your target audience, of course. Whether it’s in first-hand conversations or through secondary research methods, doing remarkable customer research can make all the difference in your business. It’s a way to gather a key list of repeat words, phrases, and issues that come up often from your target audience.

If you’re going the secondary research route — as in, social listening or combing through conversations in relevant online forums, like Reddit or Facebook Groups — you can find a ton of comments by looking up your threads and groups based on your niche topic. Let’s say you’re in the personal development niche, for example. A quick query for “personal development” in Amazon Books turns up over 80,000 results for reviews and verbiage from yourtarget audience.

By: Cyn Meyer

Read more at: https://coschedule.com/

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Hallmark Business Connections

Differentiated customer experiences can’t be created without an emotionally intelligent approach on the part of the business. Rhonda Basler, Customer Engagement Director for Hallmark Business Connections, shares practical tips to foster empathy in frontline employees. To learn more, visit https://www.hallmarkbusinessconnectio….

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How do we understand others when we haven’t experienced what they’re going through? How are we able to share in the joy and sadness of those around us? Why do some people seem so adept at suspending personal judgment, seeing through the masks we wear to the authentic self?

Science believes they’ve discovered the part of our brains that makes this important human connection possible. Let’s take a look at what they’ve discovered.

What Is the Mirror Neuron System?

Scientists have found that each of us has a highly specialized group of brain cells called mirror neurons. Their role in the body is to learn about things by mimicking them. It’s how we each learned to speak, eat or do anything.

In terms of empathy, we learn how someone is feeling by reflecting the emotions that we see in others.

Sometimes this mirroring even takes on a physical shape. You may have noticed how a very empathic person tends to turn toward the person they’re connecting with. They put their devices down, giving their full attention.

They may even mimic body movements like facial expressions, crossed legs, posture or hand gestures without being consciously aware they’re doing it.

How the Mirror Neuron System Regulates Empathy

When someone with a very active mirror neuron system sees someone who’s grieving or nervous (fearful), for example, they can actually feel it too through this reflection process. They respond by trying to comfort the person feeling these uncomfortable emotions. In doing so, the person being comforted often begins to feel a little better.

As the subject of the empathy feels better, the empathic person feels better as well.

How the Mirror Neuron System Becomes Disrupted

At a very basic level, the brain works on an internal reward system. When we do things that our brain considers good for us like exercise, the brain releases endorphins (happiness hormones) into the body.

Research shows that when we use the mirror neuron system to show compassion, our brain releases these hormones. Not only does the empathic person feel better because the person they’re connecting with feels better, they feel good because their brain released endorphins into the body.

This system may become disrupted if in the past their compassion was met with distrust, fear or even negative consequences. This may have happened in their family home. It may have occurred during a long-term, abusive relationship. Or they may have worked in an unempathic work environment.

A person can learn to deactivate this part of their brain because of the negative external consequences for using it.

A person with a less active mirror neuron system might be referred to as emotionally “numb”. This “numbness” may even be encouraged in a company.

A manager may consciously or subconsciously reward people who appear “thick-skinned” and “unaffected” in respect to their work environment. They perceive this person as more productive. However, Research shows the opposite is true.

How the Mirror Neuron System Is Strengthened

It’s a nature versus nurture argument question. Studies show that around 50% of empathy is neurological while the other 50% is cultivated through the environment.

A person in a healthy, empathic work environment can strengthen this dormant part of the brain. Consistent positive re-enforcement is needed. Creating a safe place where people can express themselves is essential. An organization must demonstrate empathy throughout the leadership ranks to cultivate it.

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