David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer
Have you ever wondered why we seem to love quotes so much? Why is it that if a certain person said something, we try to remember it, write it down, and share it with others? In a Fast Company article from September 25, 2015, titled The Science Behind Why Inspirational Quotes Motivate Us, I read that some of our love for quotes is biological. According to communications consultant Scott Sobel, founder of Media & Communications Strategies, Inc. in Washington, D.C., “Humans are aspirational. We want to look up to role models and leaders and follow what they ask.” Sobel adds, “Leaders and their words—inspirational quotes—affect us on a primal level.”
Some of the appeal is related to the words that are used and how well the statements flow. According to Ward Farnsworth, dean of the University of Texas School of Law, phrasing matters. Farnsworth added that people have an “appetite for well-expressed wisdom, motivational or otherwise.” There is also a coaching or mentoring aspect. We tend to be drawn to statements made by those we admire.
I am drawn to quotes that speak to who I am and the values I aspire to in my life. For instance, the famous words of Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” As someone who works to improve my communications and ability to connect with people, this quote speaks to me. It inspires me to focus on how people feel when I interact with them. I’m also drawn to quotes by people I admire and those I aspire to be more like. Their quotes again inspire and encourage me. Sometimes they admonish me, and I accept the admonition to try harder and push on because of who they are.
How about you? Whose quotes do you write in your journal or post on the wall by your desk? Whose quotes do you share with family, friends, and colleagues alike? They are a reflection of who you are and who you want to become. I would love it if you would share them with me. If you would like to hear more on this topic, please join Marisa Norcross and me for episode 238 of The Next Page Podcast as we share some quotes that stick out to us and why we like them.