Thinking is Overrated
If you think about it (pun intended) we think WAY TOO MUCH. We use our thinking brain for almost everything. That is like the old adage of thinking every problem is a like a nail, so the only tool we need is a hammer (or something like that).
What we don't use enough, or at all, is awareness or mindfulness, which in many instances is more important and relevant than thinking. Or at a minimum should be as present as thinking is. How can we define thinking vs. awareness? A simple comparison is:
“Thinking” is when your mind creates thoughts about the situation you are in which are almost always based on past experiences, preconceived notions and our preferences around that situation.
“Awareness” is being in the present moment with as little or few filters as possible, including thoughts. It is a more direct interaction with what is happening since you are experiencing it more directly. It is like having someone tell you about an experience vs experiencing it yourself.
Awareness or mindfulness is as important, if not more so than thinking. Why:
- thinking doesn’t allow us to see situations as clearly as possible since they are always filtered by the past and what we want or don't want
- thinking limits us to the limits of our knowledge, experience and intelligence
- thinking is one dimensional (the brain thinking) where awareness or mindfulness can be multi-dimensional
So, lets apply this to some basic sales situations:
- you meet somebody with a preconceived notion so you ask and hear things based on that vs. what a person is actually saying or experiencing
- With an overdependence on thinking, or “thinking on your feet” (which is an important skill) you may not be seeing or hearing things that are being said non-verbally (feelings, reactions, etc.)
- You are thinking one or two steps ahead, anticipating what might happen (again an important skill) vs. what actually is happening and reacting to that, or worse, not seeing or hearing what is actually being said because your brain has taken you somewhere else
- You are trying to “figure out” where an objection is coming from vs. being present and aware and tuning in to a person’s feelings around what is being said, which is much more important than the words
I hope you can see the importance of being more aware when you sell or being aware and thinking are better together.
Let me know what you think. And/or, if you agree spread the word by tweeting or facebooking, linking this in, carrier pidgeon, smoke signals, etc. You know, the basics.