unlock hidden, untapped and unrealized potential

The 3 Mind Factors

Written by Elia Lopez on Feb. 11, 2014

From the book “Stomp the Elephant in the Office" by Steven Vannoy/ Craig Ross

How many times have you sat through a direction-setting session where you are inundated with messages, priorities, and business challenges? What do you remember? Most people probably remember only one thing, and it’s usually the last thing they heard. What if the last thing they heard was, “Don’t do this!” Most people will invariably do what you just told them not to do.

Why? The 3 Mind Factors.

The Mind can only focus on one thought at a time.

The Mind cannot avoid a “Don’t.”

The Mind moves towards its focus.

These are 3 universal laws about how our minds work that we sometimes forget as we develop organizational messages and communication.

The Mind can only focus on one thought at a time.

The human brain is capable of only focusing on one thought at a time. When we inundate the brain with too much information, work, or priorities, it can’t focus on all of them at once. That's why your business needs simple organizational priorities that people can remember and execute.

In my business, we create a simple logo with no more than 1-2 numerical goals to visually display the compelling priorities. By making these simple and focused, the organization can remember the top business priorities and help to drive those.

The Mind cannot avoid a "Don't."

What happens when people hear, “Don’t look up!” What do they do? Look up! The last thing you want to tell your organization is “Don’t!“ You will inadvertently create the exact reaction you weren’t looking for. Unfortunately, the safety industry learned the hard way not to use “Don’t”. In the past safety signs used to say, “In an emergency, don’t panic.” Today signs say, “In an emergency, stay calm.”

Since the mind can only focus on one thought at once, and you want to avoid a “Don’t”, help the mind move towards the focus you want it to have. Most people remember the last thing you tell them, or the thought you share repeatedly, so make that thought the most memorable, the most important, the most pivotal message you can give.

The Mind moves toward its Focus.

My 10 yr. old granddaughter is left-handed, just like me. From the minute she could understand me I told her that left-handed people are smart because they use more of their brain. She just recently told me she got all A’s in school again and received numerous awards. As I told her how proud I was of her, she looked at me and said, “What do you expect, I’m left-handed!” I moved her towards her focus.

In addition to repeated messages, ending a communication with a forward-focused perspective creates a very different response than one where folks get told what went wrong and what not to do.

Help your organization deliver what your business needs by sending messages and communication that keep these universal truths “in mind.”

« Previous Article More Leadership Essentials Articles
All Articles
Next Article »