We learn from our past experiences. From our mistakes and our successes. A big part of this process is in remembering how we feel during these experiences.
Experiences evoke emotion. The type of experiences that evoke strong emotions are the ones that we remember most.
Think back to times where you have felt a strong sense of joy or sadness. It could be the successful completion of a project or degree. Or the time you failed to qualify for the competition you have been training for. These events stick with us. When we think back to these memories, we are even influenced on a physiological level. When we think back to stressful occasions, our cortisol levels increase, whilst we get an injection of dopamine when we remember happy times.
So if experiences trigger emotions, which then helps us to clearly recall them, it would be fair to say that the lessons we learnt will further inform us and influence future decisions.
Here’s the cool part. We can supercharge these moments and the subsequent lessons by communicating them to others as stories.
For thousands of years, we have used stories to interact with one another. It is how we communicate our ideas, thoughts and feelings. When we want a desired outcome, we use stories to enrol people and educate them.
Therefore, I think it would also be fair to say that if we want to influence decision makers (in our society, business or community) we need to tell stories that evoke strong emotions. If we are chasing a desired outcome, we need to continuously expose those around us to stories that trigger a certain emotion.
This will foster engagement and buy in from others, as well as an upgrade in our own learning experience.
TLDR: Experiences evoke emotion. Emotion influences how we make decisions. Tell stories that evoke emotion to effect decision making.