I’m not a psychologist, psychiatrist, scientist, neurologist, therapist or any of those more commonly-known “ists”.
All of the “special-ists” delve deeply into their field and sometimes their discoveries are profound. Their theories and concepts give rise to fascinating questions. Quite often the challenge is trying to understand what on earth are they saying and how does it apply to today’s workforce?
Richard Restak, MD, a well-known neuroscientist and author of 18 books on the brain, believes that when we force ourselves to use only the rational part of our brain (neocortex) to make decisions, we tend to “over think”. These decisions take much longer to make and quite often are not the best decisions. Decisions made in the limbic brain are made much faster and are of higher-quality. It’s called going with your gut.
Dr. Bruce Lipton in his book “Biology of Belief” says that “Psychologists estimate that 70 percent of our thoughts are negative and redundant.”
If we look at the opinions of Dr. Restak and Dr. Lipton they appear to be contradictory. However, we need to know when to challenge our belief system or our automatic responses and when to go “with our gut”.
The movie “Pretty Woman” was a perfect example of stereotyping. When Julia Roberts walked into the exclusive clothing store on Rodeo Drive to buy a new wardrobe wearing her gaudy cheap outfit, the sales clerk immediately dismissed her. Her first impression clearly led her to believe that Julia did not belong in the store and she had no money. Julie shopped at another boutique, came back and what did she say? “You made a mistake – BIG mistake!” In this instance perhaps the sales clerk would have benefited by challenging her belief.
Let’s say that you are driving down the road and suddenly a basketball rolls out on the road in front of you. Your automatic response will/should be to slam on the brakes. You don’t think about it. You just do it. Your subconscious mind has already recognized a possible danger. Ball on road = child not too far behind. This is NOT the time to challenge that automatic response.
Take this to your work environment now. A customer walks into your office and asks to speak with someone. Perhaps it’s their dress, their mannerisms, their body language but within a matter of seconds you have your first impression! That first impression is a result of your subconscious mind. Remember our subconscious mind is made up of past experiences which may or may not be true. So is that first impression of your client a true reflection of them or a reflection of who your subconscious mind made them?
So ask yourself are you making that “BIG mistake”?