A little understanding of neuroscience can go a long way to making your own life easier and more fulfilling.
And this week's podcast and article. I thought I should share a few mind hacks with you that are so effortless once you know them and they will give you a powerful edge in life.
These mind hacks are not deceitful or manipulative at all. They just take advantage of a little neuroscience understanding and they can have a positive impact on everyone you encounter.
The first one is I Colour I Listen
If you have attended one of my workshops or coaching sessions you probably even know this first one.
When you are speaking with someone you want to take a note of their eye colour. Why? I'm so glad that you asked. 🙂
By consciously noting a person's eye colour you must have made eye contact with them. You will also tune in to what they are saying and because making a note of their eye colour takes up so much cognitive space, you can only listen and not speak at the same time.
Now, I don’t mean stare at them for the whole time, that will creep them out and you'll be perceived as aggressive.
Eye to eye contact should be somewhat minimal (unless you are both deeply in love)
Instead, after noting their eye colour, focus about 60% of the time on a midpoint above the bridge of their nose and below the forehead.
You can drop your gaze slightly lower – directly between the eyes ) for a friend. Focus on the mouth ONLY if you are intimate with this person.
Practice this with a friend. Change where you focus attention and for how long, ask them how it makes them feel. Note how you feel when they do this back to you.
Watch who they look at when they laugh
This is a great mind hack for the astute observer of relationships. When a group laughs, each group member (tries to) makes eye contact with the person they trust the most and feel closest towards.
Imagine uncovering the true bonds in a work meeting of those people who trust each other the most. And, you can observe how you feel about other people in your group just by paying attention to whom you make natural eye contact with.
Silence is perceived wisdom
I worked with a delightful gentleman from Taiwan. He was a very quiet and reserved man. When he spoke, everyone in the room craned their ear to listen attentively. He took his time to say anything and give his opinion.
Was what he said any wiser than everyone else? Not particularly, although he had always thought through his response carefully and measured his words. His opinions were thought through and never rash.
The huge benefit of taking time to speak is the silence as others wait on you. This engenders curiosity as they wait for the words of wisdom to drip from your utterance.
On the other hand, it also draws out those who are impatient and quick to offer themselves as centre stage material. Keep silent for too long (in their perception) and they have to fill the silence with their own opinion.
Of course, all husbands know the true power of silence as they question their wife as to exactly what it is they have done wrong. No. Just me then?
Using these three very simple mind hacks will give you an edge in your relationships, both at home and at work.
You'll make greater connection with everyone you listen to attentively and you are showing them respect and honour. If you know anyone who doesn’t like to be respected and honoured by being listened to, I'd be very surprised.
You'll know the trust relationships in the various groups you belong to and, with your improved listening skills from the first hack, you'll have more trusting relationships too.
Thirdly, choose to use silence when responding. Pause for however long it takes you to carefully think through your answers and weight your words.
Practice these simple neuroscience hacks and you'll be seen as someone who cares, is trustworthy and wise.