Motivate the Elephant: Emotion motivates or demotivates the Elephant. So, if you want to move the beast forward, you’d better figure out something that appeals to its emotion. Knowing something to be rationally true is insufficient to stir the Elephant and often only entrenches it.
a. Find the Feeling: If the Elephant is motivated, the question is, which emotion is the motivator—positive or negative? Answer: Depends. If you want immediate action, negative ones seem to work. Let’s face it, if you have a splinter in your finger, you’re pretty much motivated to get it removed. Fair enough. But what about longer term issues like raising profits, getting more clients or the like. When it comes to threats, like ‘do it or else,’ the negative emotions don’t work as well. Psychologists have shown that negative emotions (like anger, disgust, etc.) tend to narrow our focus and make us less likely to move the Elephant whereas positive emotions (love, joy, etc.) tend to widen our focus and move the Elephant almost effortlessly. Bottom line: honey works better than vinegar.