Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sharing Feelings, not Facts

In the Wall Street Journal this weekend, Jonah Lehrer writes about the research of Wharton Professor Jonah Berger. That research focuses on why people share certain types of information more than others. Berger's work focuses on how we tend to share information more frequently when it triggers emotions such as anger and awe.

We all know that organizations suffer when information is not shared within teams or across silos. Is it actually even more problematic if people are biased toward sharing emotionally charged information rather than "cold, hard facts" available to them? Does the bias toward sharing feelings over facts make the conflicts among silos even worse?

That's the downside one can examine based upon this research? What about the positive recommendations for action? Well, if we want others to pass along data we have shared with them, we might be well-advised to frame the information in a way that triggers feelings and emotions. It's not "just the facts" after all!

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