top of page

Emotional Communication: Four Secrets to Effective Connection

According to, the term 'nucleus' means a central part around which other parts are grouped or gathered, a core. We use this term often in daily use, referring to a group of friends, a concept or in a number of other ways. I want to introduce a new way of looking at the word 'nucleu's. An emotional 'nucleus' is as the meaning above states, a central part. I am proposing a 'nucleus' is actually a core emotion. It is an emotion that resonates with you personally in a very profound and moving way.

1. Defining Your Emotional 'Nucleus'

Our emotional 'nucleus' is an emotional word or concept so powerfully aligned with how we feel that it takes priority over any other word. It may not be a choice, as its similar to an emotional DNA. Its more about defining it rather than creating it. It’s a sense that we were born with a connection to this nucleus and life becomes about working around the core. By isolating it and understanding our nucleus we can then begin to understand how we relate to others emotionally. We can start to create a communication strategy based on this authentic 'emotional matrix' that builds a foundation for our communication with others.

2. Emotion vs a State or Feeling:

We can and do change a great deal about ourselves throughout our lives. Some experts, like Dr. Joe Dispenza, assert that we can change our personality. Other experts focus on character traits, which according to Dr. Michele Borba, can be learned and taught. In order to clearly understand what an emotional 'nucleus' is, we must first understand what an emotion is, essentially. It is not a state. It is not a feeling or a mood. The characteristics of emotion are unique. Emotions produce a strong and rapid reaction physically. It is directly connected to a physical sensation. Some words can describe an emotion, as described, or they describe a state, which is more of a prolonged sense that relates to an intellectual process.

So, joy, happy, anger, and even fear could describe an emotion, or they can describe a state. A feeling is typically the precursor to an emotion, stemming from a thought. Concern or unease would qualify. Therefore, it's essential to give your emotional 'nucleus' context, like a matrix, to clearly define and clarify your emotions vs states, feelings and moods. It isn’t enough to communicate to your loved ones, business relationships or audiences that you want to talk about frustration for example. However, if you add panic or terror or devastation to that communication, it becomes much clearer what you are trying to convey.

If happy is put into the context of safe, or contentment or elated or ecstatic it means something very different. Creating the emotional matrix design is ultimately a more effective and accurate communication strategy when attempting to convey a message, both personally and professionally.

3. Emotional Communication is Mutual

The concept works in reverse as well. If you know someone else’s emotional 'nucleus' is the word safe, it's crucial to understand what that actually means to them. Learning their Emotional Matrix Design™ can prevent a myriad of chaos and confusion, based on you assuming what safe means to them. Effective communication is about having a full and complete and more importantly, mutual understanding of what we each feel and what that means to the individual. Take a step back from the “convincing wheel’ and focus on connection instead.

I think it’s safe to say that most miscommunication occurs due to a lack of clarity in what we feel, not what we need necessarily. Many models of communication provide excellent ways to discover and discuss emotions. However, few provide a fully developed strategy taking not only our feeling into account, but explaining clearly what qualifies as a feeling and to create a full matrix to support that feeling. This provides the context that is necessary to understanding ourselves, each other, and to then move into building powerful tools to implement our emotional 'nucleus' into effective 'gateways' to support closer and far more emotionally based communication.

4. Look for the Emotional Need vs the Practical Need

The need to clarify and connect emotionally occurs both in our personal lives and in our professional lives. A company can have an emotion, just as a person does. Just ask Kodak. When a company feels like you are connecting with a person and not a corporation, the connection becomes much stronger and encourages loyalty and a sense of belonging. A company can elicit highly powerful emotions by creating a similar nucleus and building their matrix around that concept.

The ultimate secret is to learn the crucial components of real emotion and to build an accurate representation of what that looks like for the individual or company. Once that is place you can create a vast array of targeted manifestations of the emotional 'nucleus' and create a tribe based on authenticity and organic communication, rather than being caught in a ‘convincing wheel’ hoping to persuade the recipient of your message.

Anne Leedom is the Founder of, a premier branding, communication and consulting agency based in California. Her unique strategies in creating Emotional Branding Design have helped thousands of individuals and companies build powerful relationships and impact millions of lives. For more information visit and


bottom of page