People are strange. We really are.
A 2008 Yale study found that participants in a study were more fond of the researcher when they had warm coffee versus participants who had iced coffee. But it’s more than just strange. It’s human reality.
The idea is called cognitive embodiment. It’s the idea that what we experience with our bodies manipulates what we think with our minds.
So if I’m holding a warm cup, I will feel a warm bond with you. If you sit a little closer to me when we talk, I percieve that we are close. Yes, physically close and also close relationally.
It’s as if our words embody a primitive experience. And indeed they do. They trigger portions of the brain that strengthen our bonds. They strengthen our community.
So remember, your organizational health is so much more than just culture and climate. It’s the sum of how close your people are. It’s the warmth, the embodiments, and the hot coffee.
PS – Embodiment was a topic on Season 3 Episode 4 Inspiration and Accidental Manipulation.