Using emotional intelligence to connect to your reader – Birds on the Blog

Using emotional intelligence to connect to your reader

Emotional intelligence is being aware of your emotions and the emotions of others so that you can intelligently and empathically manage these emotions effectively.

When you put fingers to the keyboard, you want to create an emotional connection to your reader so that he or she gets what you want to convey and does something with what you have written. You want to be able to support them to manage their emotions as they read your text, in a way that supports their growth or calls them to take action.

I know when I am reading there are certain things that inspire, motivate or even move me to tears. As an activist I want to read, be invited to grab a pen and do explore or to try something new. It’s important that the writer engages with me at least 80% (or thereabouts) of the time, as I have a very short attention span. You know the kind of reader that gives up on a book within the first few pages or chapters. Or the kind of reader who doesn’t read in a linear fashion – at least not in a non-fiction book…

How can you use emotional intelligence to connect to your reader? Here are a few of my ideas.

Ask your reader to explore how they feel

Not everyone will get your writing or get you, some of your concepts may not fit with your reader’s view of the world. I imagine you would be asking them to explore, to be curious and open. However, not every writer does this. They write without pausing to ask their reader to reflect on interesting and intimate points. I don’t know about you, but I adore those moments where I stop what I am reading and gaze into never, never land and allow myself to wonder how I feel about what I have just written.

Develop a strong voice

Have you noticed that when you are in a gathering how the person with the loudest voice is (usually) the most irritating? While the one with the strong voice, well articulated and with passion, often quietly spoken is the one that you notice and pay attention to. Having this awareness of your voice will shine through your writing and in the way that you promote your book. Written voices have tone, vibrancy, emotional resonance, open, inviting, demonstrate mood, passion, authenticity and have warmth. Your voice conveys your values and builds trust.

Give value and actionable items

Our writing, blogs, and books are here to serve. Naturally, they serve us, but what is the point unless there is value for the reader? By giving your reader something to do, they will connect emotionally to your writing. This could be with questions scattered among the pages. You may end each chapter with a thinking points section. Possibly every chapter will have a how to do this for yourself or a learning points section or case studies. All of which are there to provide food for thought and an opportunity for personal growth.

Inspire optimism

I read books because I want to be inspired. I want to know that if it is possible in this book, it is possible for me. How you share these stories is important. You want to draw your reader in and take them on a journey. This may start of bleak, your reach an epiphany and a realisation, something changes and your life changes. Hopefully, there is a happy ending. One which does give your reader hope. Let’s face it you wouldn’t want to write about something unless there is a good ending… would you?

Influence change

I never want to be forced to change; it’s the rebel in me. Tell me what to do and invariably I won’t. Rather I prefer to be invited gently to wonder what if. Our writing ‘should’ never tell our readers what they should do, rather arouse curiosity and exploration. So much more exciting to make a discovery rather than forced to see, feel or do something.

Explore conflict

Do you always agree with the author? I often find myself asking ‘and what do I think?’ We may come to the same conclusion as the writer. Long before that it is worth examining why a statement or idea creates conflict in us. Conflict is good as it is an opportunity for change. Often when we are conflicted, there is a deeper reason and while you don’t want your reader to throw you book down in disgust, asking them to dive in just a bit deeper and longer and to consider why something arouses such tension can be a good thing.

Spend quality time writing quality books

A book that has been rushed and not well outlined will not serve you or your reader. Readers can tell when the quality is not there. Writers with high levels of emotional intelligence will take the time to plan their books, before penning them. Your reader will know that you are motivated and have given up considerable time to produce your book. This attention to detail shows that you are interested in delivering good value.

Your empathy will ooze out of every word

You would rather edit ruthlessly than give your reader something that would bore them. You work out how to get under their skin and find out what makes them tick. When you put yourself in their shoes, your reader will gain more from your writing.

Consider how the process of writing has served you

The process of writing will have served you emotionally. You will, I am sure learned a lot about yourself as a writer and a human, as you take this journey. In this learning, you will have grown as a writer, built your self-confidence, expanded your vocabulary, given yourself feedback and honest assessment of what you have penned and extended your emotional intelligence. At the end of the process, you will know more about how you tick as a human – that’s for sure.

When it’s published

When your book is written and shared, ou may find that not everyone loves what you have written, and that is ok. This is when your emotional intelligence will be called to the podium. Be prepared for what might come up for you when someone reviews and critiques your book in a way that might seem unfair, unkind or unjust. Understand why you feel as you do. Take it on the chin and move on. You can always have a good cry or scream in private, however, publically and put your best ‘who gives a damn’ foot forward.


About the Author Dale Darley

Dale Darley is a facilitator who guides her clients' healing journey and teaches them how to use their inner wisdom and intuition to heal. She believes that writing heals and supports her clients in writing to heal and heal the world. Connect with me Dale Darley

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