I use Basic Principles of Neuroscience in my Communication Strategies

Our brain’s primary purpose for thousands, or perhaps even millions of years now, is to keep us alive, so it’s constantly making snap decisions and assigning values to everything it comes across. It’s pretty much like it has programs running in the background, like a subconscious, anti-virus software.

And the snap, subconscious decisions our brains make fall into two primary categories: “threat” and “reward,” and then our instinctive responses to these categories are to either move “toward” or “away” from whatever it is.  the first 28 seconds gauntlet

These snap judgements are made subconsciously, too, under the surface – so even if you have just a basic understanding of neuroscience, you can then craft and tailor your communications strategies to flow in a way that is naturally appealing to the brain (instead of going against it).

And neuroscientifically-designed communication … will give you an almost unfair advantage with everything, and these are not “sales” tactics, either … this neuroscientifically-optimized communication stuff works with everything that requires human interaction.

There are a few parts of our brains that we share with other species, and the part we share with reptiles, the Reptilian Brain, is the first part of the brain that processes new information.

It governs things like instincts, survival, and dominating behaviors … so think really primal, really basic stuff. It doesn’t consume much energy to operate as it is more “instinctive” than anything.

The Mammalian Brain, the mid-brain, the part we share with other mammals, like dogs … is where the Limbic System resides, and that’s the part that governs emotions.

It’s more advanced than the Reptilian Brain, but still very primal. This is where feelings come into play, and social status … or perceived social status, anyway.

Alpha / Beta … Leader / Follower. The higher the perceived social status, the higher the credibility. It consumes a bit more energy than the Reptilian part of the brain, but it’s still very simple in how it operates.

Consider this: think about how FAST we are all to … run away from perceived “threats,” both physically and mentally.

Think of how fast you’ll move if you suddenly see a snake. Or how fast you mentally check out of a conversation if the information is not relevant or useful … or if it’s just overwhelming … all of that sets off “threat” alarms in our brains.

Think of how we are typically slow and apprehensive, cautious, when approaching anything new … even if it is something that falls into the “reward” category.

Think of someone going door-to-door who’s simply trying to raise awareness for a good cause, or someone giving out free samples of some new food at the grocery store.

Think of how cautious we are as we approach those encounters, even though the cause may be noble and how we … normally don’t perceive threats at the grocery store.

There are huge differences in how we instinctively react to “threats” and “rewards.”

the first 28 seconds

The Neocortex is the most advanced part of the brain … it’s the “Human” part of our brains that we use to do just about anything “other than survival.”

It’s the part of the brain that we use for advanced concepts, like language and strategic problem-solving, and it consumes tons of energy, so to strategically conserve energy, the brain does most of its functioning at the subconscious levels, like with Reptilian and Mammalian parts of the brain.

As communicators, the big flaw that we all tend to make, is that we’ll prepare complex pieces of information about [ANYTHING] and then just assume that we are transmitting it from our Neocortex directly to the Neocortex of the other person … like a fax machine … but we’re not.

In order to access the other person’s Neocortex … in other words, conscious mind … you have to first make it past the primitive parts of the other person’s brain … their subconscious mind … without setting off “threat” alarms.

This can all happen very quickly if you know how to do it … or it may never happen at all. And it happens naturally sometimes, but sometimes not, and I teach people how to develop communication frameworks that help them do it every single time, on purpose, and in a way that is consistent, testable, and most importantly, replicable. Like, anyone can learn this stuff, it’s actually quite simple.

When it comes to communications, there are many hazards both above and below the surface … but mostly below. Considering how seven percent of communication is the actual words, and ninety-three percent of it is everything else, and I’m talking about the non-verbal communication that’s in our verbal communication … like tonality and pacing and inflection … and body language and facial expressions … and even the way we dress.

For example, if I was saying words that make sense but my tonality indicates that I’m nervous, then I’d be literally sending signals to your Limbic System that would get labeled as “threats,” and this is all happening under the surface, much like how your computer’s anti-virus software just picks things up and flags them or eliminates them.

So, when it comes to communications, it’s one of those things that’s pretty easy to get right, but also pretty easy to mess up … but the repercussions of getting it right or getting it wrong can just reverberate throughout the entire relationship, no matter how short or long it is and no matter if business or personal.

So, what I teach is how to map out communication frameworks that are neuroscientifically designed to just go in-line with how the brain prefers to receive and process information instead of going against it.

And what’s really cool about it is that it’s very simple … like, it doesn’t require smooth-talking or any trickery or pressure of any kind … like, I don’t teach “sales-tactics,” but incorporating these communication hacks in your contact and engagement strategies will help your sales to go a lot smoother.

I mean, think about how … if you can get your potential clients to just, not fight you on every step of the way, then you will inherently reduce the amount of time it takes to go from first contact to close.

This will also reduce the amount of runaround that goes along with all the chasing and follow-up, which will … in turn … increase the amount of time you have to be able to focus on new business opportunities … AND … reduce the amount of nightmare clients that your organization has to deal with further on down the road during the post-sale relationship.


Want to know more? Find my FB Page … I have a bunch of videos on there where I explain this stuff in even more detail.


Published by Thomas Hurley

I am a father, husband, drummer, boater, marketer, communicator, animal-lover.

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