Having been lucky enough to attend the Performance Marketing Insights for two years in a row, I have found they never fail to organise some really inspirational speakers. This year I came away feeling particularly motivated by one of the seminars; “Building Relationships Virtually: The Science & The Success” with Amy Brann and I wanted to share some insights along with a fun video at the end!
Amy Brann is the Founder of ‘Synaptic Potential’, an agency that specialises in helping organisations create a productive and motivated workforce with the help of neuroscience. Although Amy is not a marketing specialist, she explained how neuroscience can help us to build better relationships with our clients and how to alter our behaviour to increase trust. By doing this it we can ultimately increase the profitability of our clients through the connections we establish. Amy used (mostly) willing volunteers from the audience to participate in trust games and explained the science behind why we as humans behave in certain ways.
Three key points to keep in mind when trying to build successful professional relationships are:
1. Serve Others. Re-train your mind to think “how can I serve you” rather than “what’s in it for me”.
The first demonstration required full audience participation; we had to introduce ourselves to someone we had never spoken to before. When Amy asked what we were thinking afterwards, the kind of feelings people shared were “what shall I say?”, “why am I doing this?”, “what if I look silly?”, “what if he/she doesn’t understand what I am saying?”. Amy pointed out the common theme here of ‘I’. When we learn to put other people at the centre of our motives, more open relationships are formed, something that is hard to achieve when the majority of our communication is via email or Instant Messaging.
2. Influence Honestly and Connect Deeply. This is all about being open and transparent whilst also thinking about the reward for the other person.
Once you have understood what is important to the person you are dealing with, you are much more likely to get what you want out of the relationship. This involves talking about things other than business and remembering that you are communicating with humans; social creatures that love to build connections. When you remember someone’s birthday for example or important life events, it creates a “buzz effect” through the release of Oxytocin in the brain, which in turn encourages feelings of trust.
3. Plan. Build relationships in a strategic way.
Practising mindfulness is a fantastic way to both improve your own productivity and create meaningful partnerships with colleagues and clients. Planning to be in a particular frame of mind goes a long way to achieving the most out of meetings, for example. Amy shared her experience of a predominantly male boardroom and the necessity to consciously adapt her body language. She achieved this by posing in masculine stances (in private) beforehand to release more testosterone into her body. It sounded ridiculous, but Amy assured us it works!
Finally, I really want to share this video that Amy showed us which illustrates how we as humans might react to a feeling of inequality in the workplace, but luckily we have filters as grown-ups. And I can definitely relate to this monkey, grapes over cucumber win every time!