Communicating with heart and mind

Here at Luminate we have recently noticed an increase in the (so-called) ‘emotionally intelligent signs’.  We’re not sure if you’ve noticed them too but they seem to be popping up everywhere.

Perhaps you might have seen the road safety signs that say “Slow down my daddy works here” cleverly written in child-like writing font.

Or perhaps you might have seen signs like the ones we have when leaving our client’s corporate head office car park which say

“Your loved ones want to see you tonight and we want to see you tomorrow so drive carefully”.

Now whether you like them or not, hopefully like us you’ve noticed them.  It seems these emotionally compelling signs are getting noticed and have caused some attention in the media recently.

The idea behind these signs is that basic requests such as ‘Drive safely’ or ‘Slow down’ don’t seem to be creating the desired behaviour. For most of us they go unnoticed.  And even if we do register them, they aren’t enough to actually motivate a change in behaviour.  Research from organisations such as Highways England and the road maintenance company Amey have found that signs that demonstrate empathy and encourage empathy have more impact.

These types of signs are designed to impact drivers at a more deep level and create emotional appeal.  They are designed to trigger a response in the limbic brain (emotional part of the brain) which drives motivation and as a result behavioural change.

A great example of where this approach is used to great affect is in the Embrace Life seatbelt safety campaign video. If you’ve not seen it we would encourage you to take 90 seconds to view this video:

At Luminate we believe that leaders benefit from taking a similar approach to their communication.  In our coaching work we support leaders in developing more emotionally appealing communication that is designed to motivate and influence the people they lead.


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