In a bit of a continuance from last week’s blog about what the brain cannot comprehend we will dip into a little bit of the other side of the story.
This thought is about how we DO engage the brain in the right direction with a little bit of simple redirection. This is not a tough concept to understand, AND yet, it is a tough concept to always execute.
The part of the brain called the amygdala, also called the lizard brain, is the very first part of the pathway that takes external inputs into our thinking system. It is keyed to one thing….FEAR. The fight, flight, freeze reaction is launched from here FIRST. So the first filter in our thinking system is built to look for problems, process a possible primary response, THEN think through things for a logical response.
Our first filter is actually looking at things that were described last week as “NO”.
From our own MCHP global team we were provided a couple of great examples of this. The first one is mountain biking.
Let’s set the vision. High in the mountains on a narrow rocky trail on a 30-degree decline, you are barreling downhill, barely in control. Ahead of you, there is a narrow pathway leading through boulders that are big enough to stop you in your tracks. One very normal thought would be “DON’T HIT THE ROCKS”. Sounds reasonable….except recall that the brain cannot process the DON'T part of that scream. Guess what…continue that thinking and you will soon become the next person airlifted off of that mountain to the nearest EMERGENCY room. I suspect that this mountain bike example came from valid experience.
The next example given by our team was that of a skier in the mountains, well off the trail, knee-deep in powder, and completely surrounded by HUGE trees on all sides. By now, we know….thinking “DON’T HIT THE TREES” will likely end up badly.
So we instead redirect our thinking, just like the answer to the trail bike story. We DO think… SEE THE PATH! See where you want to go, see what you want to do, see the outcome that you desire. This does not make it easy, or perfect, or foolproof. We are still human after all. But it DOES give us the BEST possible chance of getting to where we want to go.
SEE THE PATH!
Now expanding that thinking into serving our clients is actually quite easy.
Our client can clearly paint the picture for us of what success will look like at a high level. Make sure that picture is visually very clear to everyone involved. By project, by product, by issue, by every level of engagement that you can conceive of. Make that outcome VERY clear.
Then work into that vision. See every part of the path that will create success. Dig deeply into understanding what good looks like at every turn of the ride down that hill with the client. See the trees…come back to the PATH. Focus on the PATH.
From time to time a tree or boulder will get in our way. Bandage time! Then get up and see the new PATH. Never stop looking for the PATH, even in the toughest of times.
Alright, all you PATHFINDERS…. LET’s ROLL!