The Green Sheet Online Edition
June 13, 2011 • Issue 11:06:01
Retrain your brain
||The chains of habit are generally too small to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.|
- Samuel Johnson
Did you know it's not always our fault when we make bad decisions? As humans we're flooded with biochemical reactions to many situations that require us to respond, and sometimes, because of these automatic reactions, we draw the wrong conclusions. Being aware of this can help us better manage situations and people - and perhaps help us lead more fulfilling lives.
For example, when the amygdala region of the brain, which triggers the flight-or-fight response, is stimulated for a prolonged period, excessive levels of stress hormones are released.
And in today's hectic world, many of us are chronically overstressed. This can impair our judgment in ordinary situations, such as when we are driving or dealing with merchants who have POS issues to resolve. Fortunately, stress releasers like exercise, social outings and meditation can ease an unsettled nervous system.
Awaken your intelligence
According to Psychology Today magazine, preprogrammed thinking patterns also affect the decisions we make. Here are examples of restrictive mental habits and effective strategies for overcoming them, which the magazine provided in its PsyBlog.
Inferences: These are conclusions we draw based on assumptions we believe to be valid. However, we all have natural biases that can lead to incorrect reasoning. Like good detectives, we need to gather all the facts and then reflect before drawing conclusions. In dealing with merchants, this strategy can help us see the bigger picture.
Polarization: According to researchers, humans are predisposed to viewing the world in terms of black or white, left or right. It's difficult for most of us to accept gray areas that require compromise. In sales, when we are faced with merchant objections it's best to choose words carefully to steer conversations toward a middle ground where both parties can communicate effectively and find mutually beneficial solutions.
Stereotypes: Placing labels on people or situations without seeking to learn about them and determine their real nature and merits can have irreversible negative consequences. Always keep an open mind to avoid sabotaging the next great opportunity that presents itself.
Belief in the printed word: Unfortunately, our brains are programmed to believe the catchy headlines we read - until our critical thinking kicks in and brings clarity. It is crucial to question the accuracy and intent of all that we read. This is particularly helpful when evaluating the merits of materials we may use to keep our merchants informed.
So, if we reduce the stress in our lives and apply the strategies listed to supplant flawed thinking patterns, we can make better decisions, which will ultimately improve the quality of our professional and business lives.
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