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Microsoft Teams Adoption and the Impact of Emotions

Lately, I’ve found myself studying the science of Adoption and Change Management (ACM). Mainly because Microsoft Teams is a pretty big foundational shift from how we’ve done things in the OCS/Lync/Skype world in some ways. In other ways, we’re faced with the same ACM struggles as OCS/Lync/Skype of simply getting the users to understand the software and how it can improve their lives.

 

I had two things happen to me today that compelled me to write this article. In both cases, the events brought up and out emotions from me (even if I do joke that my emotions like my taste buds are dead, yes, I like spicy food, but I digress).

 

The first was a call where I was discussing Microsoft Teams vs Slack. The person wanted to know how I could convince a group of Slack users to migrate to Microsoft Teams. They thought I could just drop some tech specs and be done with it. I had to be frank with them, in my experience, Slack users are a very passionate bunch. They enjoy the product and feel it improves their lives. Based on this passion, there is a raw emotional tie to it. At this point, rational thought of tech specs flies out the window. I then explained, it’s no different really than my passion for Microsoft and its solution. I am deeply passionate around the tech that Microsoft creates. I become emotional speaking about it (ask my co-workers who brace themselves when my soapbox comes out). The emotion it invokes is ultimately, irrational, no different than my friends who are passionate for Slack.

 

The second event was an email. Yes, a simple email. It contained information that I really didn’t want to read. It was negative and I knew it. It created that emotion in me to want to walk away. Here I am, a person who has to have crucial conversations regularly with folks and a simple email had me spun up. Similar to those times when younger one might breakup with a boyfriend or girlfriend and just not want to speak to that person ever again, then promptly see them the next day.

 

As I pondered over these two events, I realized that they both point to the same thing, we as humans, do things irrationally a lot of the time based on our emotions. No matter how much we think we are logical, as soon as our emotions are involved, we can easily make choices from those emotions instead of logic. Don’t get me wrong, these emotions are not bad nor is the fact that we act based on them. In fact, a good amount of our survival is tied to them.

 

So, how does this actually tie back to the original point? It’s simple, I’m not going to be able to just drop logic and convince them to change. As change agents, we need to surround people with information and appeal to their emotional side in order to get them to change. It’s what we subject ourselves to every day when we turn on the TV, watch videos on YouTube, or simply go to our favorite news site. We see the ads that try to convince us that we need those products to be able to be better individuals, have nicer things, whatever.

 

As you approach your project, whether it is Microsoft Teams or any other product, are you thinking about how you will appeal to your targeted users’ emotional connection to it?

Categories: Microsoft Teams
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