We have so many habits. Our bodies and minds have been so programmed to respond to information in a certain, set way. We are programmed for survival. We are not programmed to take risks, unless we have no other choice. Fight or flight, fear or foe. No in-between area.
Yet in the business world, everything is really some shade of grey, rather than an either-or, black-or-white type of decision. What is an appropriate choice or solution in one context is not appropriate in another. So we may end up making the same choice, with different outcomes, or different choices with the same outcomes, many times during the course of a business day. We “live” in the in-between areas, and not necessarily comfortably.
We become complacent about our decision making. We know where the information is stored, so we have standard responses or solutions we offer when the behaviors of our clients and prospects “seem” to indicate them. Have you ever wondered where all the rest of the great stuff you learned resides in your brain? So you can offer clients and prospects, and even your internal colleagues, some refreshing insight that will lead to an entirely different outcome than the same-old, same-old, tried-and-true stuff you offer? Of course, this “stuff” is what works and what generates revenue for your organization. But revenue and profitability are not necessarily the same thing.
How do you jog yourself out of your status-quo mindset? For that matter, does your status quo mindset even bother you? In order to get over the mental quagmire you’re in, I suggest learning to rub your head and pat your stomach at the same time. Do this activity at least three times a day. First of all, it’s a bit of fun. Second of all, you probably won’t be able to do this successfully, even by the third try of the day. Third of all, in order to even attempt to rub your head and pat your stomach simultaneously, you will have to use all sorts of muscles and muscle memory (aka, your brain and nerves) in different combinations and sequences than how you are used to using your body. It’s like shuffling a deck of cards differently. Your grey matter will slightly reorient itself.
You will be provided with a new idea of how to use your muscles and mental resources to produce a different outcome. Interesting, huh? Wanna guess how this might play out the next time to you need to create a solution for a customer? Some ideas and concepts may surface that lead you to wonder where they came from…. How about from someplace in your brain where they were “stuck”?
If you don’t want to engage in a bit of public “silly” in the workplace, how about learning to play Pinochle? No easy card game, that one. For starters, the cards are organized differently. They are valued and weighted differently; they sit in the hand that was dealt you differently. And guess what, you can’t become complacent at any point during the game. Your full attention is required on focusing to keep all the rules, values, finesse and points in play at all times. No room for “same old, same old” with this card game. Because it’s not like other games. You use your mind differently. And you know what, your brain relaxes, yes relaxes, because it’s expanding to extract stored information in a different manner and in different combinations than what you are used to. It’s mentally aerobic, if you ask me. And great fun.
We owe it to ourselves, as business development professionals, to use as much of our brain power as possible in seeking solutions for customers. And with both of these exercises, silence, observation and listening – rather than chatter and spiel – is involved in seeking those solutions. No matter how successful you are in your current position, there is always room for continuous self improvement. And self improvement can come from a variety of sources, not just the same-old, same-old. Think about it. And have a bit of “silly” at the same time.