Harness the True Power of Emotion



Several years ago, there was video series on YouTube called Real Actors Read Yelp™. While the series focuses on the seemingly absurd expectations many reviewers have when it comes to what a restaurant is capable of, even the most outlandish of reviews can be traced back to our core human needs.

Let’s take a look at Real Actors Read Yelp™ #6, where Mother’s Day is on the line:

Emotion will work for or against us

The person that wrote the above review was seeking Love & Connection. Since it was Mother’s Day, she had expected her other basic needs, Certainty, Variety and Significance to be easily met. For her, Love & Connection was a well deserved reward for her role in the family.

But when she didn’t get the flowers (like the other Moms did), her journey towards Love & Connection was impaired. Combined with the fact that it sounds like the husband didn’t bother to “go to the bathroom” and see where their flowers were, we get an even deeper understanding of how insignificance left this particular Mom feeling upset- and unheard.

And since her core needs were neglected, it’s back to Certainty towards the tribal instinct level to warn others who may be seeking Significance or Love & Connection. Yelp becomes the inevitable outlet to sound off the warning. The unfortunate review we saw acted out by Amanda Leigh Cobb must take place.

We can always change the course of our guest’s experience

Let’s say what happened technically wasn’t anyone’s fault because somehow there was not one more flower on the planet.

Was “Gleena M” doomed from this shortage of flowers, and the waiter doomed to be labeled an “idiot” for something he had no control over? The answer to both is “no”.

But what happens so easily is we fail to understand the real problem in situations like these. It’s not a lack of flowers.

In another restaurant where core human needs are understood, the team would have first seen that the shortage of flowers was going to be an issue and reason it was going to be an issue.

One core need holds the keys to the next

In this example, we can see how what should have been set in motion, the journey to Love & Connection, was disrupted. It’s helps us understand the dynamic relationship each of these needs have with each other. From Significance, Love & Connection moves towards Growth, and so on.

Each time one fails to be met, however, we roll back towards the most basic of these: Certainty.

So with the core human need of Significance as our guide, either the waiter or management should see that there could be a set expectation put in motion that may affect some of the guests:

  1. What’s could the problem be?: not enough Mother’s Day flowers for all the tables
  2. What’s the area of impact?: Significance -> Love & Connection
  3. What choices do we have?: product, service, both

These are not simple situations. It’s only through guest feedback, experience and communication can the subtleties of situations like this get somewhat predictable. Sometimes the answer to situations like this can only be understood after the fact. This will never change.

What can change is we see our guests through the lens of their needs. We can change what we can do to ensure we’re paying attention to the right stuff, at the right time.

Now what if the Chef came out to the table, with the biggest slice of chocolate cake, ice cream and cookies and said, “from all of us here to the most beautiful Moms in the world, we wish you the best Mother’s Day ever!”

What would her review have been like then?

Next: Continued – The “Point of Impact” & Team Decisions