Wombat Wisdom https://blog.getwombat.com The next generation in-app engagement platform Tue, 20 Jun 2017 14:10:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 https://blog.getwombat.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/cropped-WombatFace-32x32.png Wombat Wisdom https://blog.getwombat.com 32 32 Empathy: The soft skill with hard results https://blog.getwombat.com/2017/06/20/empathy-soft-skill-with-hard-results/ https://blog.getwombat.com/2017/06/20/empathy-soft-skill-with-hard-results/#respond Tue, 20 Jun 2017 14:10:44 +0000 https://blog.getwombat.com/?p=817 Business and management studies teach loads of stuff: finance, strategy, marketing and more. But it’s rare for a syllabus to include instruction on soft skills. People need to be able to connect and relate to others well for a business […]

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Business and management studies teach loads of stuff: finance, strategy, marketing and more. But it’s rare for a syllabus to include instruction on soft skills. People need to be able to connect and relate to others well for a business venture to thrive. Empathy is the force that moves businesses forward.

empathy launch

There are specific character traits that are inherent to high-fliers. No matter what their particular areas of expertise – they generally possess intelligence, vision, integrity and determination. These qualities help these successful individuals cope with the various challenges that life presents, whether personal or professional.

empathy business success

That’s the classic definition of what you need to succeed.

Emotional Intelligence

More recently, the synergistic effect of cognitive intelligence and emotional intelligence has been steadily gaining recognition. Emotional intelligence (EI or EQ) is a term coined by Peter Salovey and John Mayer back in 1990 and is described as:

Emotional intelligence is the capability of individuals to recognize their own and other people’s emotions, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, and manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt to environments or achieve one’s goal(s).

empathy emotional intelligence

In the decade that followed, Daniel Goleman popularized the idea by presenting a model1 that emphasized the importance of emotional intelligence. Goleman argued that non-cognitive skills are critical for workplace success. In a Harvard Business Review article in 1998 he said:

The most effective leaders are all alike in one crucial way: they all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence. It’s not that IQ and technical skills are irrelevant. They do matter, but…they are the entry-level requirements for executive positions. My research, along with other recent studies, clearly shows that emotional intelligence is the sine qua non of leadership. Without it, a person can have the best training in the world, an incisive, analytical mind, and an endless supply of smart ideas, but he still won’t make a great leader.

empathy emotional intelligence

And it was the dawn of a new era.  

The element of empathy

One of the EI components that Goleman emphasizes in Empathy. A formal definition of empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Basically, it means being able to see things from someone else’s perspective or being able to put yourself into the other person’s shoes. True empathy is being able to feel what someone else is feeling and to respect that feeling, regardless of our own thoughts and experiences around it.

empathy daniel goleman

Funny enough, the word empathy still makes some people squirm, being a sort of touchy-feely concept. But it’s not as overly demonstrative as some might think. In fact, it’s a rather basic ability – one that can be learned and improved.  

Empathy and relationships

empathy soft skills

Empathy is key to keeping relationships running smoothly. In his book Descartes’ Error, Antonio Damasio proved that empathy is a core component in effective relationship. In the preface to the 2005 edition, he wrote:

“Today this idea [that emotion assists the reasoning process] does not cause any raised eyebrows. However, while this idea may not raise any eyebrows today among neuroscientists, I believe it’s still a surprise to the general public.  We’re trained to regard emotions as irrational impulses that are likely to lead us astray.  When we describe someone as “emotional,” it’s usually a criticism that suggests that they lack good judgment.  And the most logical and intelligent figures in popular culture are those who exert the greatest control over their emotions–or who seem to feel no emotions at all.”

empathy relationship

Empathy allows us to discern the thoughts and feelings of others. With empathy we can better understand how or why people are reacting to situations. Empathy develops our people acumen and it shapes our decisions.

empathy professional

So, don’t skip or skimp on this skill.

Empathy and the bottom line

The link between empathy and business results cannot be ignored. From building meaningful business relationships,  to building trust, to increased employee satisfaction. From onboarding new customers through supporting them, while creating great customer experiences. Empathy is your pixie dust.

empathy magic

As mentioned earlier, empathy is a necessary quality for effective leadership. Great leaders want to build great teams and here too, empathy serves as the backbone.

Empathy might not come naturally to some people. There is genuine value when organizations teach and instill empathy in the workplace. The capacity for empathy in the human moment at work is essential, and it facilitates interaction and communication for remote workers.

empathy
BY FRITS AHLEFELDT

The power of empathy is particularly valuable in sectors where there are many human moments but they are plagued by limitations on time and money, for example, healthcare, public services, and education. It’s not enough to only have empathetic teachers. Schools are encouraged to add empathy learning to their curricula, and it’s never too early (or too late) to start.

empathy education

Even small organizations benefit from developing an empathetic orientation (perhaps even more so because of the wider variety of business interactions!).

empathy business

So get your empathy on. And embrace the emotion!

Wombat cares. So we are making it easy for you to gain lots of empathy insight in one marvelous morning. Join us at EmCon to hear from industry leaders on how empathy can benefit you and your business. Register today!

 

 

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What former nonprofit workers bring to startups https://blog.getwombat.com/2017/06/12/what-former-nonprofit-workers-bring-to-startups/ https://blog.getwombat.com/2017/06/12/what-former-nonprofit-workers-bring-to-startups/#respond Mon, 12 Jun 2017 07:36:05 +0000 https://blog.getwombat.com/?p=811 Over the last few weeks I have been speaking to people who switched from working in the nonprofit world to working in a startup. I was curious to find out what aspects of working in nonprofits were the most useful […]

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Over the last few weeks I have been speaking to people who switched from working in the nonprofit world to working in a startup. I was curious to find out what aspects of working in nonprofits were the most useful after their transition.

Some of their feedback was really fascinating, so I gathered it together for your reading pleasure.

Want to change the world

“I need soul satisfying work.”

This is what one person told me about what they’re looking for in a job. Startups succeed because they provide a service which makes people’s lives better. Employees who are driven to make a real and tangible difference to the life of your customers is the biggest thing a startup could ask for.

This desire will force you to build products which people really need. You’ll make sure you keep challenging yourself to do more. And you’ll also be encouraged to think big and to give to your customers by solving real and deep problems for them.

No-one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank

Passionate

People working in non-profits are generally passionate people. They care about what they are working on, and they are excited to make a difference. When moving into startups, this passion is essential.

Startups need founders and employees who care deeply about what they’re doing and are willing to do the hard work to get it done.

Able to sell a vision

Most nonprofits rely heavily on volunteers. To inspire a group of people to donate their precious time for free requires people who are able to sell a vision.

And that ability to sell a vision is extremely valuable in startups. Startups need to be able to galvanize their team to build the product. They need to inspire their investors in the upside of the company. And they need to excite their customers to try out a new (and often buggy and not fully functional) product.

Pay Binoculars

Wearing Many Hats

Most nonprofits run on extremely tight budgets. They’re trying to do the most possible with their donor dollars, and this means that their staff often end up taking on many different roles. A graphic designer might end up doing grant writing, and a secretary might do event planning or manage donor relationships.

This means that people coming from the nonprofit world are comfortable taking on multiple jobs. This is almost always a must in early stage startups.

And even more than that, they come into the startup with a diverse set of skills that they never would have picked up in a more corporate environment.

Hats for Sale

Willingness to work beyond their pay grade

Because their funding is tight, many nonprofits can’t provide the same salaries that for-profit companies can. People coming from that world are used to working well above their pay grade to help further the causes they believe in.

Early stage startups are in the same boat. If they’re bootstrapped, everything is very tight. And even if they’ve received investment, they’re still trying to stretch their runway as long as possible to give their dreams a chance.

Ex-nonprofit workers who are used to providing value well above their pay grade can help get a startup on its feet. And in a startup they have the upside that their salaries should go up as the startup gets more investment and they have equity in a company that they believe in.

Masters of the MVP

Continuing the theme of having a low budget, nonprofits are masters of the MVP. They don’t have the luxury of building things that aren’t necessary. The budget just doesn’t allow it.

This means that they’re able to really help a startup figure out exactly what they need to impress investors or to go to market. There’s no way to get bogged down adding just one more feature or one more piece of unnecessary marketing material.

Bottle House

Do things that don’t scale

Paul Graham from Y Combinator wrote a very famous post about how startups need to do things that don’t scale. People from the nonprofit world are experts at this.

Nonprofits are built on relationships. They receive their funding by building direct relationships with philanthropists who believe in their vision. They often make their difference by building direct relationships with the people they serve. Even trying to create more viral awareness or fundraising campaigns often requires a lot of direct relationship building and encouragement.

This focus on relationships means that when working in nonprofits people really exercise their “empathy muscles”. You have to learn how to listen and understand what really matters – whether it’s to the benefactors, donors, overworked employees or the people the nonprofit is serving.

This is so important in startups! Getting important feedback from customers, delighting those customers and turning them into evangelists, creating and maintaining relationships with investors and partner companies and building a solid core team are often the biggest pieces of a startup’s success. These pieces can only really be done through real relationships, with a lot of empathy and listening.

Able to make sudden changes

To keep running, nonprofits are often at the whim of their stakeholders. (A stakeholder is an individual or group which has an interest that the nonprofit fulfills its mission [link].) When a big benefactor calls and says that s/he wants the nonprofit to do something – they do it.

Startups have to be just as flexible. In addition to often being at the whims of their board, startups need to be deeply attuned to the market and their customers. They need to do their best to listen to the needs of the market, and need to be able to make changes quickly to match market needs.

Hiring people who are used to making sudden changes can be a huge help in the rollercoaster of startup life.

Doers, not delegators

This might go back to the budget constraints we mentioned above, but people who work in nonprofits are often doers and not delegators. They know how to be proactive in making the difference they believe in without waiting for someone else to take care of it for them.

The idealism that people in nonprofits have can also encourage them to make the most out of what they’ve got, and to look for ways to say “yes” instead of ways to say “no”.

This skill is extremely useful when building a startup. Things often don’t go the way you expect, and you have to figure out a ways to get things done that are often out of the box.

Strong desire to do things differently

(This one might be a bit controversial, but here goes.)

A number of the people I spoke to said that unfortunately, the nonprofits they worked in had a lot of inefficiencies. The lack of competition stifled growth and encouraged too much bureaucracy. They said that the non-profit world actually has much to learn from the startup world.

They said that their negative experiences with those parts of the nonprofit world actually made them more motivated when they left to create and/or work in innovative and dynamic startups.

The prospect of doing things differently was exciting and they were eager to bring the rest of the skills they acquired in their time in the nonprofit world to bear in the more dynamic and fluid world of startups.

Conclusion

The amount of similarities between startups and nonprofits really surprised me. The enthusiasm, idealism, resourcefulness and focus on real people in the nonprofit world is really inspiring. The startup world is often hyper-focused on making (lots of) money. But we have much to gain by looking at and learning from the nonprofit sector.

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Emotions are contagious, part 4: Don’t be fake https://blog.getwombat.com/2017/06/05/dont-be-fake/ https://blog.getwombat.com/2017/06/05/dont-be-fake/#respond Mon, 05 Jun 2017 11:49:13 +0000 https://blog.getwombat.com/?p=796 Continuing in my exploration of Emotional Contagion, I want to look into fake emotions. If emotions rub off on other people, then the natural response is to require all employees to pretend to be super upbeat all the time. If […]

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Continuing in my exploration of Emotional Contagion, I want to look into fake emotions.

If emotions rub off on other people, then the natural response is to require all employees to pretend to be super upbeat all the time. If everyone is smiling at each other, even if they’re not real smiles, shouldn’t that make everyone feel happier?

Taking it a step further, if the simple act of smiling makes someone happier, then even without anyone around shouldn’t companies require their employees to act positive and upbeat?

But looking more into how emotional contagion works, “fake it ’til you make it” is completely wrong.

Real emotions show through

Elaine Hatfield, the pioneer in the field of Emotional Contagion talks about how she realized that emotions were contagious.

Talking with an arrogant, competitive professor, Hatfield always felt as if she’d said something stupid although she knew she hadn’t. During one of these painful exchanges, she began to notice brief expressions of anxiety on his face, a rise in his voice, twitching in his body as he shifted from foot to foot—all signs that he was uncomfortable and looking to prove himself. “This discomfort wasn’t going on in me,” says Hatfield, “but in him.” (From Why Emotions are Contagious on www.oprah.com)

This professor was acting proud and strong, but his true emotion – his own self doubt – was being revealed.

In fact, true emotions can’t be hidden even if you try. Take a look at this study in the journal Psychological Science.

Participants were shown a face with either a happy, angry, or neutral expression, but only for 30 milliseconds. The expressive faces weren’t on the screen long enough for the participants to notice, so they had no idea that they were being subconsciously exposed to them. Still, the participants who were shown the happy face displayed increased electrical activity in the muscles needed to smile and mimic that face, and vice versa with the angry face. (From Monkey See, Monkey Do: Emotions Are Contagious Because Of Mirror Neurons In Brain on www.medicaldaily.com)

It takes less than 30 milliseconds of seeing an emotion for it to have an impact on the viewer. So even if you were to fake it 99% of the time, your true emotions would still emerge and have an impact.

Faking it has a high cost

Alicia Grandey, an organizational psychologist at Penn State studied “service with a smile”. Her research concluded that “requiring positive emotions from employees induces dissonance and depleted resources, which hinders task performance and threatens well-being.” Further, emotional display requirements “limit self-determination by threatening the autonomy, competence, and belongingness needs of employees.”

In fact, Grandey suggests that in most industries, enforced ‘service with a smile’ should be banned.

Being authentic is better

It turns out that authentic workers make better and more productive workers. Successfully creating an authentic workplace has innumerable benefits. High level talent are empowered when they can be authentic. It helps avoid problems because people aren’t afraid to say something when they notice something wrong. Authentic employees also have significantly higher job satisfaction and lower levels of work related stress.

Positive Authenticity

So what you want is employees who are both real – and really into what they do. Employees who have a great workspace, great colleagues, and really believe in their company and what they’re doing. And employees who are empowered to be themselves and let their feelings show.

Anyone might have a bad day. But if you have a mission and people know that they make a difference, they’ll more often than not be excited to come into work. And that enthusiasm will spread virally throughout your company.

If you enjoyed this article, feel free to read my other posts on Emotions are Contagious:

Part 1: The Importance of Taking Time to Reboot your Mood.
Part 2: How positive emotional contagion can work remotely.
Part 3: Different types of people in your company

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UX Design and Emotion Part 2: The Role of Color https://blog.getwombat.com/2017/06/01/ux-design-emotion-part-2-color/ https://blog.getwombat.com/2017/06/01/ux-design-emotion-part-2-color/#respond Thu, 01 Jun 2017 19:25:19 +0000 https://blog.getwombat.com/?p=743 In part one of Design and Emotion, I talked about how product design can inspire emotion. In this segment, I’ll be focusing on the effect of color on emotion, and its impact on product and UX design. “Colors, like features, […]

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In part one of Design and Emotion, I talked about how product design can inspire emotion. In this segment, I’ll be focusing on the effect of color on emotion, and its impact on product and UX design.

“Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions” – Pablo Picasso

Picasso_color feelings

The role color plays on perception has a long history, from the fabric choices of monarchs on the one hand to sumptuary law on the other.

We use colors to describe a state of mind such as feeling blue, seeing red, or shaking off a black mood.

Green with envy color emotion

Color psychology has produced many studies on the importance of color in marketing, business, and product design. We now know that color affects the food choices we make, the flowers we grow – and also the cars we buy! The influence of color is even powerful enough to affect the efficacy of the medications we take.

Nowadays we can design products and interfaces in a nearly infinite number of colors. So, let’s discuss how we can use colors in our design to evoke the right emotion in our audience.

Color sentiment

Colors are are divided into warm and cool characteristics. These color groups have been associated with different psychological responses. Cool colors such as Blue and Green are considered peaceful and relaxing. Warm colors such as Red, Yellow and Orange are stimulating – and so, not surprisingly, are associated with food and appetite. Purple, which combines invigorating Red with serene Blue, is said to encourage creativity.  

warm-cool-colors

Colors, also called hues, can be tweaked. We can create additional shades by adjusting color brightness (by adding Black or White) and saturation (by adding gray which changes the intensity or vividness). Differences in brightness and saturation can evoke very different feelings. Compare, for example, the energy of Red with the sweetness of Pink.

ColorsEmotions

White

purity, simplicity, freshness, youth

White might not seem like a color, but it serves an important purpose in design. White is often used in product design to emphasize innovation and simplicity.

color emotion White_simplicity_DeLonghi Toaster

In digital design, it is often used to better highlight other colors. White is used around screen elements to better emphasize and distinguish them. Don’t underestimate the impact that white space has on your screen design.

color emotion White_VinylPlayer_Piotr Kwiatkowski

Whitespace

Note that “white” space doesn’t actually have to be White. However, in interfaces with lots of text, the inclusion of white space – for example margins, gutters and spaces between text blocks – is an important element of user experience.

document-white-space

source

Black

authority, strength, sophistication, elegance

Black is the strongest color and is therefore used to quickly attract attention. It is commonly used for text for the contrast it affords on light background.

color emotion black

This boldest of colors is often used to generate feelings of exclusivity and elegance. Black doesn’t need much more than the occasional pop of color. Its starkness says it all.

color emotion Black_tesla

Tesla app

Red

energy, passion, speed, danger, power

Red usually generates excitement. It gets our hearts pumping! Red elements usually attract more attention. In branding they often indicate energy and power.

color emotion Red_espn

Red also makes us hungry. No surprise that it’s so popularly used by fast food chains!

color emotion Red_fast food

The color Red signals a sense of urgency and attention – and gets us to get things done more quickly and powerfully. It’s often used in product design to focus attention on a call to action (you really want to press that!).

color emotion Red_buttons
By Ahmed Gamal

  color emotion Red_button

As a UX element, Red is frequently used to draw attention to warnings, or important status state..

Orange

cheerful, friendly, enthusiastic, playful

Orange is a playful, casual color. It’s energetic, but less so than Red. Use Orange to convey an upbeat mood. I love its use in this fun (and most necessary) app!

color emotion orange  color emotion Orange_Pivo2

Orange is sometimes associated with inexpensive or accessible products. These brands wear it proudly because they reflect the values of their consumers.

color emotion Orange-logos

Yellow

happiness, hunger, intensity, warning

This hue can evoke different moods in you. It generally creates feelings of happiness and friendliness. It is sometimes connected to frustration and anger. Although a cheerful color, babies are more fretful in Yellow rooms. Lighter saturations are less likely to cause anxiety – yet retain Yellow’s warmth.

Yellow is the most eye-catching color and is very effective in branding.

color emotion Yellow_logos

Because of its visibility, Yellow can be very useful when applied in small amounts to draw notice. It can be particularly effective when used with black or grayscale.

color emotion Yellow_signs

Too much Yellow can be hard on the eyes, though, so it’s best not to use a vivid Yellow as a background to a text-rich page.

color emotion yellow   color emotion yellow

In nearly all its variations, Yellow is considered optimistic. So don’t worry, be Yellow!

Green

growth, health, nature, money, harmony

Refreshing Green is generally a well-liked color. It’s a balance between warm Yellow and cool Blue.

We associate Green with growth, freshness and peace. It works well for designs relating to the environment, medicine, and often, wealth and prestige. It’s also used in some sports-related design when it reflects playing fields and the outdoors.color emotion Green_sports

Zepp app

Vivid Green colors are dynamic to the eyes and grab a lot of attention, so they work well for call-to-action buttons and as state indicators.

Green_CTA3

Green_switch_sm

Blue

trust, loyalty, dignity, safety, wisdom

When people were shown an array of eight colors, Blue emerged as the most liked color overall, and by far the color most preferred by men.

It is the coolest of colors and although it is associated with sadness, it has a calming effect. So much so, that it is being used to prevent street crime and suicides.

color emotion Blue_light
Blue lights in Glasgow, Scotland

Because of its association to sky and sea – generating feelings of relaxation – Blue is frequently used by airlines and travel sites. It’s popular with social networking because it represents communication. It promotes interaction and doesn’t distract users the way other colors are likely to.

color emotion Blue_United

Blue is popular with banking and government for the trust it conveys (when we’re relaxed, we’re open to trust).  Blue is favored by the hitech sector as well, because it projects awareness, logic and knowledge.

Purple

royalty, intelligence, spirituality, creativity, courage

Purple conveys feelings of luxury. In addition to its creative affects, Purple carries an air of mystery.

color emotion Purple_syfy

Because of its comprehensive characteristics, it lends itself to a wide range of product types.

color emotion Purple_luxury

 

Brown

reliability, warmth, organic, food

Brown is the color of earth and wood which projects straightforwardness and resilience. Some consider it old-fashioned or dirty. It is however used often in design (what better way to elevate a mood by associations to chocolate?) – and successfully signals dependability.

color emotion Brown_ups-delivery

Brown’s brightness and saturation can be adjusted to make it a warm neutral.

color emotion Brown_website

The bottom line: Don’t select a color based on color stereotypes (“green is for things that are natural”). Do choose colors for your brand or product that support the personality and image that you want to present to your users.

Color me inspired!

 

 

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Emotions are contagious, part 3: Different types of people in your company https://blog.getwombat.com/2017/05/28/different-types-of-people-in-your-company/ https://blog.getwombat.com/2017/05/28/different-types-of-people-in-your-company/#respond Sun, 28 May 2017 18:05:49 +0000 https://blog.getwombat.com/?p=616 Emotional contagion affects different types of people in different ways. In case you missed the first two posts in the series, let’s start with a quick summary of it means that emotions are contagious. In short, emotional contagion means that if […]

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Emotional contagion affects different types of people in different ways. In case you missed the first two posts in the series, let’s start with a quick summary of it means that emotions are contagious. In short, emotional contagion means that if you’re around happy people, you’re likely to pick up their positivity. And if you’re around grumpy people, that’s going to rub off on you too.

I started off this series on Emotional Contagion by looking at The Importance of Taking Time to Reboot your Mood. I then looked into How positive emotional contagion can work remotely.

For part 3, I’m going to look at different types of people and how to best use them in your company.

Susceptibility

Unsurprisingly, just as some people are more likely to get sick than others, some people are more susceptible to catching other people’s emotions than others. Some people are very strongly affected by the emotions of the people around them. Others are basically able to ignore other people and maintain their own emotional state.

Gif remake: Glass case of emotion

What’s interesting, is that people who are more susceptible to other people’s emotions are also often more in tune with the emotions of others.

… those who are most vulnerable to “catching” others’ emotions are individuals who tend to be attentive and sensitive to the emotions of others. value interrelatedness over independence and uniqueness, and those whose conscious emotional experiences are heavily influenced by peripheral feedback.

Psychology Today: Emotions Are Contagious—Choose Your Company Wisely

Infectiousness

And as expected, some people’s emotions are more contagious than others. These people tend to express strong emotions, and draw people to them. They’re often the life of the party, and often are unaffected by the emotions of other people – especially those expressing emotions different from their own.

confidence.gif

Putting them all together

Putting it all together, I’ve defined 4 different categories of people. There are those who are Infectious and Positive (IPs), Infectious and Negative (INs), Susceptible and Positive (SPs) and Susceptible and Negative (SNs).

When building a team, these people all bring something different to the table. Some of their talents can really complement each other, but some have the potential to be destructive. Let’s take a look.

How to maximize these character traits in your company

Infectious and Negative (IN)Infectious and Negative

Danger! Be Aware!

Make sure that you are extremely cautious of people who are highly infectious and give off negativity. These people can easily torpedo your entire company, spreading the negativity virus like a plague.

Susceptible and Negative (SN)

Hiring highly sensitive people who don’t give off strong positive emotions is great – if you can balance them with highly Infectious and Positive teammates.

They are more likely to be in tune to your customer’s needs and more sensitive to any problems that other coworkers might be having.

They need to be balanced by some strong positive energy. If not, they could get dragged down by angry customers or derailed by a colleague’s bad day. But if you’re able to team them up with some Infectious and Positive people, you could build them up to be Sensitive and Positive.

Susceptible and Positive (SP)

The best workers you could hope for. These people build up the rest of their team through unintentional osmosis. They’re also in-tune with the needs of your customers and their coworkers. They are often great at customer support and User Experience, and they make great teammates. They’re often good at sales too. They’re able to understand the needs of the customers, especially when paired with an Infectious teammate to help seal the deal.

The risk is that without other positive people around them, they can quickly transition to Sensitive and Negative. It’s very important to make sure they have a positive and happy workplace.

Infectious and Positive (IP)

These are your team leaders. They drive everyone forward, motivate the team, and inspire customers. But they often have trouble listening to customer and employee feedback when they think things are going great, even when signals are indicating otherwise.

If these leaders want to really be great, they know that they need to take advice from people who have more of a pulse of the marketplace or workplace and take that advice seriously.

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UX Design and Emotion Part 1: Why design for emotion? https://blog.getwombat.com/2017/05/25/why-design-for-emotion/ https://blog.getwombat.com/2017/05/25/why-design-for-emotion/#comments Thu, 25 May 2017 14:08:27 +0000 https://blog.getwombat.com/?p=673 Why design for emotion? Humans are emotional creatures. We are fascinated by things that arouse, inspire or provoke us. We are drawn to things we consider beautiful, interesting, or cool. The Uses and Gratification Theory (UGT)  is an audience-centered approach […]

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Why design for emotion?

Humans are emotional creatures. We are fascinated by things that arouse, inspire or provoke us. We are drawn to things we consider beautiful, interesting, or cool.

attracts people

The Uses and Gratification Theory (UGT)  is an audience-centered approach that focuses on what people do with media, as opposed to what media does to people. UGT maintains that people choose specific media or prefer a specific product not only for its utility, but for the gratification it supplies.

 

Emotion Brain

 

Designing for emotion and mood embraces these natural tendencies and puts them into the UX design. 

Emotions are short-lived feelings that come from a known cause, while moods are feelings that are longer lasting than emotions and have no clear starting point of formation. Emotions can range from happy, ecstatic, sad and prideful, while moods are either positive or negative.  

UX design considers both the spirit of the organization, product or app as well as the mood of its customers or users. It’s true that you can’t always discern the mood of your users, but you can try to express a specific mood by using the right elements.

functional_emotional

BY MIKLOS PHILIPS

Emotions, not surprisingly, influence  user engagement and loyalty. When a product or app fulfills an emotional motivator 1 (in line with UGT as mentioned earlier) the more likely it is to generate emotional loyalty. The popularity of social media networks can be attributed to person’s desire to belong and feel part of a group, for example. If we keep users happy, we are fulfilling a basic need. Hopefully, that will – in turn – benefit us.

So, how can you include emotion in your product design? Well, you should of course consider design elements that affect mood, such as colors or font types. (We’ll get to those another time!)

Meanwhile, here are some less tangible ways to express emotion in your product’s design.

Start with the basics

The most successful products are the ones that deliver the function promised.

Does the product reliably do what it is meant to do? And does it do so in the most intuitive way possible? A product needs to first provide basic user needs. Only then can it go the distance by including elements for enjoyment, engagement and emotion.

Generate delight

delight

We all want happy users. People more easily connect with positive and humorous content, so a cheerful message or amusing animation is usually welcome. Delighting users will resonate with users and form a positive connection with your brand.

wow delight

Try to offer more than a beautiful and usable product. Include a “Wow!” moment. The wow moment is not to showcase how wonderful, you are. These special moments should always be user-centric. Don’t delight just to appear cool. Done poorly, moments intended to “wow!” can sadly be annoying.

delight animation

source

The best way to exceed user expectations – to generate the upbeat emotion you want associated with your product – is to design something surprising that actually helps your users achieve the results they’re trying to accomplish. For example, you can provide a simpler and more effective solution, a fun solution or even offer a solution that prevents a problem they might not (yet) have.

Create conversations

In today’s social world, we are connected to each other more than ever. Sometimes we’re not interacting with an actual person. Instead, we’re having a conversation with a machine. Either way, designing for meaningful communication is valued whenever and wherever we can get it.

emotional design

source

The importance of communication has made conversational interfaces one of the important technological goals for many of the world’s leading companies. (You can read this designer’s fascinating account about his chatbot experiment here.) But it’s not enough for a bot to be able to uphold its end of the conversation. Researchers are exploring ways to provide them with emotional intelligence as well.

emotions

Conversation isn’t necessarily only words anymore. For example, with the advent of instant messaging (IM), which denies the ability to see facial expression in conversations, emoticons have proved to to be a successful way to convey emotion and mood in conversations.

It’s the start of a beautiful relationship

Consider ways you can design your product and user experience to leverage emotions and mood. When you use emotion, you can better communicate to the people using your product that you seek a long term and authentic relationship with them. Designing for emotion, coupled with voice and language, will take your product far.

 

 

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Top Jerusalem Startups You May Not Have Heard Of https://blog.getwombat.com/2017/05/23/top-jerusalem-startups-you-may-not-have-heard-of/ https://blog.getwombat.com/2017/05/23/top-jerusalem-startups-you-may-not-have-heard-of/#respond Tue, 23 May 2017 16:32:00 +0000 https://blog.getwombat.com/?p=639 Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day. It’s been 50 years since the reunification of Jerusalem. Before the 6 Day War, people were digging mass graves in the parks, and now we’re dreaming of unicorns! It blows the mind. Everyone knows how Tel […]

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Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day. It’s been 50 years since the reunification of Jerusalem. Before the 6 Day War, people were digging mass graves in the parks, and now we’re dreaming of unicorns! It blows the mind.

Everyone knows how Tel Aviv is the foundation of the Startup Nation but Jerusalem is making a push to become the second “Silicon Wadi”.

More and more startups are coming out of Jerusalem. Last year, Jerusalem just missed cracking the top 20 startup cities in the world. And that was before Mobileye’s $15B exit to Intel.

Jerusalem startups form a strong and supportive entrepreneurial community. It was so inspiring to see how many of the startups we reached out to for this post were happy to suggest other companies we should include as well!

The growing startup ecosystem is fostered by fantastic organizations like MadeInJLM, includes some awesome accelerators like Siftech and MassChallenge, and has world class venture capital from VCs like Jumpspeed, OurCrowd and JVP.

I’m excited to see the ways Jerusalem startups are going to change the world in the years to come.

🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱

In honor of Yom Yerushalayim, we want to highlight some of the up-and-coming companies in the city. Some you might have heard of. And some you’ll hopefully hear a lot more of in the not too distant future.

Happy Yom Yerushalayim!
!יום ירושלים שמח

BiteMojo

bitemojo is the first app to offer self-guided food tours and food experiences with nothing but your smartphone. bitemojo invites the user to choose his or her preferred tour which includes a fascinating itinerary, 6 delicious bites and 8-10 hidden joints and off-the-beaten-track places, where the user is completely flexible in the way he is consuming his experience: he can start the tour when ever he wants, he can stop for how long he wants, he can continue the day or week after, and he can even convert unclaimed bites at one destination into free bites in another.

bitemojo currently operates in Berlin, Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem, and new destinations such as Rome, Barcelona and London should go live within weeks. Beside offering the tours for FIT’s, bitemojo experiences have also been used by corporations and educational tourism companies such as “Birthright Israel”, which provide their participants or customers with a fun, exciting and tasteful activity, while learning about Israel and its society’s DNA.

Blue Thread Marketing

From startups to cities, Blue Thread Marketing is a boutique digital agency promoting international and local brands through strategic digital marketing – specializing in Search Marketing (Google and social media PPC), SEO, Content Marketing and Social media management.

Blue Thread works in partnership with their clients to provide a holistic digital strategy that complements other traditional initiatives. They provide the tools and strategies for digital brand building and strengthening. Their targeted engagement and management of content focuses on driving website traffic and increasing user engagement and conversions.

Craze


Craze is a Jerusalem startup building the next generation of social e-commerce. Their platform enables customers to shop based on the looks and styles of the social influencers they love.

Discounts, flash sales and group purchases all happen easily between friends as you connect to Craze via your existing social networks.

A personal note from Jonathan Caras, CTO of Craze:

For the past 10 years I have worked in the Jerusalem startup scene, I have always felt like we are building a family, and today it is amazing to see how quickly that family is growing.

EZsave

EZsave is a bill negotiation platform which is changing the balance of power between the customers and service providers.

EZsave reduces recurring expenses by renegotiating a customer’s plan based on usage patterns and the best available plan in the market. Currently, EZsave has more than 12,000 registered users and is growing quickly. The average yearly saving per customer is over ₪1,150.

Fillip

Fillip was established in Jerusalem in 2015 on a belief in the power of the masses and an understanding of the new economy – that everyone should be able to profit from his contribution the the larger community, regardless of their age, color, status and education.

Fillip is a cooperative economic venture, with the goal of changing the job placement marketplace by deploying an ”army” of engineers in diverse fields to recommend their friends for jobs. This approach helps companies to reach talent in new ways and enables connectors help their friends find work and make some money in the process.

Finishers Club

Finishers Club is a platform for runners to log their race finish times and catalog their running gear in an appealing, visual profile — a mix of a virtual trophy case and gear locker.

The site is home to passionate athletes across the globe, from weekend 5K enthusiasts to sponsored ultra-marathoners, and runners everywhere in between. Finishers Club also produces a weekly newsletter, Running Commentary, and created a popular iMessage sticker app, Runner Pack.

Freightos

International freight sound boring?

90% of everything is shipped (seriously, check the tag on your shirt, shoes or laptop), with over 8.5% of the US GDP spent on logistics. But it’s an old-school industry, where the average time to just get the right price and route for importing takes +3 days.

Enter Freightos, a Jerusalem powerhouse that’s raised $50 million from investors like General Electric and Aleph to bring logistics online with an online freight marketplace. After automating freight pricing and routing for over 1,000 freight companies. Last year they launched their freight marketplace, helping everyone from Fortune 100 companies to tiny, basement-run operations get their freight on.

Smooth shipping.

Hometalk

Hometalk is the worlds largest DIY community, with the mission to get everyone to ‘DIY more.’ Their platform is rich with ideas, support, advice, materials, and all the help anyone could possibly need to complete their projects. With a community that’s over 10M members strong, and over 300M monthly page views, the fact that their success is purely organic goes to say a lot about the excitement surrounding the DIY space.

If you’re active on Facebook, you may have spotted one of their viral DIY videos, or their one of their engaging and insightful FB Live events. The visual nature of Hometalk’s original DIY content is also the secret behind their popularity on Pinterest.

Innitel

INNITEL, a Jerusalem-based Self-funded Startup (SaaS) company, has developed a cloud based realtime communications platform, that enables businesses to engage their customers via voice, Fax, SMS, and OTT. Leveraging Innitel’s proprietary applications, API’s and CRM integrations, INNITEL provides a robust engagement platform for SMB and SME.

Society is migrating from an environment where voice was the backbone of live communication to a landscape where our words are disseminated, real-time, through messaging, social media channels, email and augmented by voice and video. The word ‘Phone and call’ is rapidly being replaced with the actions of multi channel Real Time Communication, and as importantly, consumers are expecting that their brands and products adapt to this landscape. Innitel’s rapidly evolving product line including CloudPBX and Atomic Platform, attracts companies wishing to engage and/or market effectively in this evolving landscape.

ReplyAll

Imagine if you could be a fly-on-the-wall for conversations between your favorite experts? ReplyAll has a built a tool that allows websites to invite interesting people to their site to engage in a back and forth and readers can follow the conversations as they unfold. Instead of publishing a static opinion column written by just one person, websites can now publish dynamic conversations created by multiple authors.

ReplyAll launched in 2013 and is already working with publishers like Bloomberg, HuffPost and Sports Illustrated and is running campaigns for corporate customers in both the B2B and B2C space. The company has grown organically without outside funding and has grown its revenues 4x year over year for the last three years.

Strattic

Strattic brings serverless security, speed and scalability to the Open Source web.

Strattic publishes Open Source content management systems like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal as static websites. This eliminates the vulnerabilities that plague these platforms making them impermeable to hacking; and makes them faster and scalable.

Tline

Content today is growing exponentially faster than we can handle. Stories have become jumbled and disorganized, making it difficult for publishers’ readers to consume them. Tline’s goal is to organize content on a neat timeline, embeddable into any publisher, in order to revolutionize storytelling. Everyone can use Tline’s user-friendly platform, leading to their very own Tline. Whether it is developing stories or past events, anything can get timelined.

With a rev-share business model, Tline enables brands to tell their stories to the world, through their publishers. Looking forward, Tline plans to disrupt the live-news storytelling approach using NLP and machine learning technologies.

Umoove

Umoove developed the first ever, pure software, face & eye tracking technology, for any mobile device. No extra hardware needed. A unique technology (15 patents filed), built from ground up, that has attracted the attention of many of the biggest companies in the world.

Through regular app downloads, any device can become capable of seeing the user and looking him in the eye. This opens many new possibilities in a range of markets such as VR/AR, healthcare, gaming, e-commerce, advertising, automotive and more. Umoove can be easily integrated to enhance various existing apps as well as be the driving technology for entirely new applications.

Yala

Yala helps startups and small businesses manage their social media accounts more effectively through Slack and Facebook Messenger. With Yala, you can publish to several social networks and accounts with a text message, and ensure your posts are precisely timed so that they engage your audience when they’re online.

Yala calculates the perfect time to publish your posts based on who and how many of your audience members are on the social network. With Yala, you’re always performing in front of a full house.

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Emotions are contagious, part 2: How positive emotional contagion can work remotely https://blog.getwombat.com/2017/05/22/emotional-contagion-can-work-remotely/ https://blog.getwombat.com/2017/05/22/emotional-contagion-can-work-remotely/#comments Mon, 22 May 2017 08:02:02 +0000 https://blog.getwombat.com/?p=615 In a previous post I talked about how emotions are contagious, and The importance of taking time to reboot your mood when feeling down. Contagious emotions can be a very powerful tool. If a team leader is upbeat and optimistic […]

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In a previous post I talked about how emotions are contagious, and The importance of taking time to reboot your mood when feeling down.

Contagious emotions can be a very powerful tool. If a team leader is upbeat and optimistic about their company and product, that will rub off onto the other team members making a happier and more productive team.

This works well when working in the same building

A lot of the research on emotional contagion, specifically the line of work pioneered by Elaine Hatfield, suggests that emotions are contagious because of subconscious mimicry of another person’s actions and facial expressions. If one person is smiling, the other person starts smiling too, even if they’re not particularly upbeat. And smiling automatically causes them to start feeling better.

This works in an office, where teams work together. A positive and happy team leader (or team member, for that matter) will rub off on the rest of the team, raising morale.

What about when working remotely?

But if you’re working in a remote-first company, there’s isn’t much face-time to get positive emotions to transfer between team members.

In one sense, not having that emotional transfer is a good thing, as it means that if you’re having a down day, that doesn’t rub off on the rest of the team. But are there ways when working remotely to still take advantage of all the good that contagious positivity can offer?

Emotions over social media are contagious

It turns out, from a study Facebook did in 2014, that emotions are contagious even without direct interaction. From livescience.com:

When Facebook removed positive posts from the news feeds of more than 680,000 users, those users made fewer positive posts and more negative ones. Similarly, when negative posts were removed, the opposite occurred.

The findings provide experimental evidence that emotions can be contagious, even without direct interaction or nonverbal cues, the researchers say

A study done on 3,800 twitter users also shows that “emotions spread virally through Twitter feeds — with positive emotions far more likely to spread than negative ones.” Also without any direct interaction between the tweeters.

This means that despite initial theories of emotional transfer being based on direct contact, there is emotional transfer through written communication as well.

giphy.gif

But just leaving it to chance isn’t enough

Unfortunately, writing is often misinterpreted, and when it is, it’s usually not in the positive direction. This linked article cites Kristin Byron who argues that “receivers often misinterpret work emails as more emotionally negative or neutral than intended.”

This means that just leaving our communication up to chance doesn’t cut it when working remotely.

If we want to have positivity spill over between coworkers in a remote environment, we have to be consciously thinking about how we’re speaking and make sure that our good feelings come through.

Some strategies for positive communication

A great blog post on SEOPressor by Joanne Chong (@_joannechong) talks about some strategies that social media professionals can use to effectively express emotion to their audience. Many of these strategies can also be used when communicating with colleagues to improve team morale.

Be human

Make sure that your colleagues know that you’re being authentic and that when you’re excited and positive, it’s genuine.

People can see through fake emotions, even over chat. If you’re feeling down, find some ways to perk yourself up, but don’t be happy 100% of the time when it’s just not true.

Use Emojis

Emojis are pretty corny, but it’s no coincidence that Slack made them such a fundamental part of their platform.

A picture paints a thousand words, and emojis allow you to convey emotional cues with a single character.

Share your sense of accomplishment

Finished working on a cool new feature? Came up with an awesome new approach to a business challenge you were having? Share that feeling with your team!

If you were working in an office, people would see you walking around after you accomplished something cool, and your positivity would rub off. Don’t be shy about sharing those same accomplishments in a remote environment. (Disclaimer: Make sure you’re not doing it just to brag and put other people down, of course.)

Use gifs, jokes, and other means to make people smile

Sending funny gifs to your teammates might seem like a waste of time (and doing it all day long probably is). But finding ways throughout the day to put a smile on everyone’s face naturally makes everyone happier.

Because if you smile, you’ll magically start feeling happier.

***

For a fantastic post on how to run a remote company, I highly recommend this post by Gary Levitt at YalaBot.

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The importance of taking https://blog.getwombat.com/2017/05/17/the-importance-of-taking/ https://blog.getwombat.com/2017/05/17/the-importance-of-taking/#respond Wed, 17 May 2017 17:42:49 +0000 https://blog.getwombat.com/?p=542 Everyone thinks that being nice and giving things to other people is the most important thing. But sometimes taking is more important than finding something to give. Two stories about new neighbors Neighbor #1 Imagine that a new neighbor moves in […]

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Everyone thinks that being nice and giving things to other people is the most important thing. But sometimes taking is more important than finding something to give.

Two stories about new neighbors

Neighbor #1

Imagine that a new neighbor moves in next door. A day after moving in, they ask to borrow some milk. No problem, right? They’re probably all frazzled from the move.

The next day, they ask for some eggs. And the next day for some sugar. And the next day they ask for some cereal right when you’re running out of door to a meeting you’re already late to. At first you were happy to help, but when the requests became too frequent and inconsiderate, you can’t help becoming annoyed.

New neighbour taking

Neighbor #2

But here’s a true story that happened to me.

I moved into a new apartment, and for the first two months I had nothing to do with my neighbor at all. We said hello as we walked past, and that was about it.

But then one day, I was in the middle of cooking something, and I was out of eggs. I reluctantly knocked on their door and asked for some eggs, which they gave me happily. And then a week or so later, they knocked on my door, asking for some milk. It didn’t take long after that for us to become much more friendly and we started hanging out after work.

All of a sudden we had a relationship – just because I had asked them to do me a favor.

Relationships have to be two-sided

It turns out, that by asking for something from someone else, you accomplish a few things.

First, you show them that they have things of value to offer you – making them feel special and wanted.

Second, you create a sort of social-debt with them that makes them feel that they are able to ask things from you without it being awkward.

And third, and possibly most importantly, you create a “giving relationship” where they felt good giving to you, and are more inclined to give to you again in the future.

Positive and strong relationships are built on giving and not just taking from the other person. In Hebrew, the word for Love is Ahava/אהבה. This word is derived from the root word “hav” which means to give. By giving another person the opportunity to give to you, you are enabling them to create a relationship with you.

The Ben Franklin Effect

It turns out, that this is actually a psychological phenomenon called the Ben Franklin Effect:

A person who has performed a favor for someone is more likely to do another favor for that person than they would be if they had received a favor from that person.

By finding a way to enable another person to give to you, you end up building a stronger relationship than if you had given them a present yourself.

A million bucks

How your business can use this

If done right, businesses can really use the idea of taking to build stronger relationships with your customers and suppliers.

Find a good time to ask your customers for some feedback (when they’re not in a rush, of course). Look for chances to ask them for help with something small, like telling their friends about a particular sale that you know they’ll appreciate.

But make sure not to be like that guy from the beginning who kept asking his neighbor for things. That’s just annoying and your customers will get annoyed with it really fast.

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Give because it’s good https://blog.getwombat.com/2017/05/16/give-because-its-good/ https://blog.getwombat.com/2017/05/16/give-because-its-good/#comments Tue, 16 May 2017 20:05:40 +0000 https://blog.getwombat.com/?p=585 We’re familiar with the proverb “It’s better to give than to receive” and the adage “Happiness comes from helping others”. Scientific research has proved these sayings to be truth. Giving to others is essential for personal growth and continuous happiness. […]

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We’re familiar with the proverb “It’s better to give than to receive” and the adage “Happiness comes from helping others”.

give help happiness

Scientific research has proved these sayings to be truth. Giving to others is essential for personal growth and continuous happiness. In fact, people who help others are measurably happier than people who spend time in pleasure-seeking activities!

give lovingkindness
PHIL ASHLEY VIA GETTY IMAGES

Well before science studied its effects, the Bible has been teaching us that “the world is built on lovingkindness” (Psalms 89:3). And the Jewish Mishna tractate Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers 2:1) teaches that lovingkindness, chesed, is one of three pillars that upholds the world.

giving selflessly altruism

The best giving is giving with no expectation of reward, because you spare yourself worrying about getting repaid for your kindness. True, you might experience fortuitous effects from giving (read on!) – but really, just give of yourself because you care, and don’t concern yourself with reciprocity.

Giving for your health

Research shows that prosocial behavior 1 creates a “helper’s high”, which are intense physical feelings that improve a giver’s physical and emotional health. Physiological changes include increased levels of oxytocin, and lower levels of stress hormones – sometimes even contributing towards healing disease or alleviating pain.

volunteer giving happiness health
SHUTTERSTOCK

Numerous scientific studies on the benefits of volunteering support the above by concluding that altruistic giving contributes to self-esteem and all-around satisfaction.

Giving for your business

giving work help colleagues

This isn’t only true for kindness in casual settings. According to Wharton professor Adam Grant,  it turns out that givers add more value to organizations than selfish “takers” or quid pro quo “matchers” do.

With the demise of mom-and-pop stores, interactions with customers is often digital, via social networks, for example. Treat your customers with old-time manners, authenticity and generosity. You – and your customers – will be so much happier and satisfied.

give at work

Giving doesn’t need to take much of your time or be costly. As a business or product owner, make a habit of expressing appreciation to your customers and users by thanking them for their loyalty.

Happily, proactive customer support was declared one of the biggest customer service trends in 2016  by Forrester. This translates into anticipating customer issues and addressing them before they happen. Give. Don’t wait to be asked.

proactive Customer Service
Beautiful design by Francisco Cunha and Martin Azambuja

Which takes us right to….

Proactive giving

When coaxed or shamed into giving, such as when your kid’s school asks for parent volunteers, giving becomes reactive (we don’t want to be shamed) rather than proactive (because we feel particularly generous or passionate about something). This sort of giving doesn’t lead to warm fuzzy feelings. It might actually lead to resentment.

proactive giving
From GIPHY.com

Try to regularly consider the ways that you can give more and give better. Join the random acts of kindness movement. Here are dozens of great ideas on how to get started.

Giving begets giving

When we see people giving, it in turn makes us want to give. Thomas Jefferson named the specific emotion we feel when we see others doing virtuous acts “elevation”.   

circle of giving

Giving is an emotional contagion,2 so not only do you feel better when giving of yourself, but your giving causes a cascade effect of giving. One person’s giving influences another’s behavior for the better!  (It’s hard to argue with science!)

spread kindness

Give the best you’ve got

In this article, the Harvard Business Review lists how you can make the most of giving:

7 Habits of Highly Productive Giving

  1. Prioritize the help requests that come your way — say yes when it matters most and no when you need to.
  2. Give in ways that play to your interests and strengths to preserve your energy and provide greater value.
  3. Distribute the giving load more evenly — refer requests to others when you don’t have the time or skills, and be careful not to reinforce gender biases about who helps and how.
  4. Secure your oxygen mask first — you’ll help others more effectively if you don’t neglect your own needs.
  5. Amplify your impact by looking for ways to help multiple people with a single act of generosity.
  6. Chunk your giving into dedicated days or blocks of time rather than sprinkling it throughout the week. You’ll be more effective — and more focused.
  7. Learn to spot takers, and steer clear of them. They’re a drain on your energy, not to mention a performance hazard.

Dr. Stephen Post ends his article It’s Good to Be Good: Science Says It’s So, with these eloquent words: “….we must aim at something higher than happiness in order to receive it.

Let’s aim higher.

Happy giving.

Giving give

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