Research carried out recently says that all human beings have the tendency to create Oxytocin when they care about someone and have empathy for them. Think back to the last time you watched a really good movie and it made you feel something. Maybe it made you cry or you felt fear, or you felt something else but you were engaged. You cared about what happened to the characters. You KNOW that movies are stories and the characters are actors and that the actors will probably go shopping in Tesco’s or Asda the next day, but you still feel as if it’s real.
It is all pretend and you know it.
And yet, if the movie is good, you feel something.
You connect with the characters.
This is the power of good storytelling which can be replicated in training if you use scenario/drama based training and use actors to tell your companies stories. That feeling of empathy, caring and interest, that connection that you feel for characters in a movie, or in any story, is the result of the brain secreting a hormone called oxytocin.
Oxytocin is natural, produced by your brain and not dangerous at all. It is sometimes called the “love hormone” because it is important for feeling empathy, generosity and trust. In the U.K. researchers conducted a test in which they injected people with synthetic oxytocin and subjected them to public service announcements.
This led to a 57% increase in causes receiving donations, a 56% increase in money donated and a 17% increase in caring about the people in the ads.
Now we cant go around injecting people with a hormone but our goal, as a trainers is to motivate our learners’ brain to produce and release oxytocin. Which implies that a great way to get people to really care about you and your message is to involve them in a story with characters that they identify with. So next time you are thinking about building a course on challenging conversations, customer service or sales skills why not tap into this powerful hormone by using business actors to bring the course to life and have the learners really feel something to inspire them to change.