Why can you talk on the phone and drive in normal conditions, yet if the conditions are worsened you hang up the phone because you need to concentrate on the road?
That same question resonates throughout business as well. Think about how that relates in your life.
Now, Imagine yourself at this classic Man Vs. Machine Battle.
Chess Legend, Garry Kasparov, taking on the mighty computer, Deep Blue (1996) in a chess game for the ages.
What differentiated one from the other besides a steel brain vs. a real one?
Researchers realized Kasparov needed only 20 watts of energy to defeat mega-computer, Deep Blue, to win 4 games to 2. On the other hand, Deep Blue was burning through thousands of energy watts such that it needed fans to keep it cooled off.
Yet, when Garry first started out, he probably used 100’s of energy watts to learn and implement different chess strategies and understand piece values, positions etc. After much study, his unconscious brain logged these implementations away and they would appear automatically during a match without a thought.
Now, his conscious brain works less and focuses on new tactics instead of burning through old strategies that are already working in the background.
When you first pick up something new, your mind is racing. You’re first days on a new job leave you exhausted mentally as your brain is eating up more energy than normal (a reason why rest is so important).
When you first start investing in yourself, you’re bombarded with new principles, ideas, a new mindset and realize it takes work! At first you’re lost, worn-out, perhaps you risk embarrassing yourself as well.
Then, over time, what you learn automatically presents itself, or how you got over a previous barrier becomes second nature so your mind doesn’t need to turn quite as fast and is more efficient.
Let’s look at 3 major areas you encounter this and become more energy efficient:
Use Less Energy during NEGOTIATION
During negotiation, you want to be calm and clear-minded; yet, we naturally fill our heads with stress, worries, and worst case scenarios. If, instead, you were able to go into negotiation and spend less brainergy (new word!) on the former and use it on other important factors, you will have a leg up.
Or, how about this, if you can master the key components of the negotiation, you won’t overload your head trying to handle stress energy and tactical energy, you will only need to burn the stress energy. Because for some people, you are going to be nervous and stressful and that’s normal. Check out Negotiation tactics here and here.
It’s up to you to learn tactical strategies for the negotiation table to free up your “bandwidth” being used at one time. Let it become AUTOMATED!
Practice Verbiage and Common Responses: Prepare beforehand different scenarios (even write them down), so when you’re told “No,” you’re not going into high alert, but already have a response/counter automatically. Once you have responses down, they will come out naturally and more confidently than if your frantically trying to come up with a poorly constructed counter.
You’re Able to Stop Talking and LISTEN more: When your mind goes a mile a minute during negotiation, what happens? You either, keep talking and never shut up (as you don’t want to appear nervous, so you gab), or you don’t say anything and become a dead weight in the negotiation (then you’re lost and sunk). Negotiation is a give and take, so you need the available energy to comprehend what’s being stated so you can prepare an adequate response. Let automation take care of standard responses.
Be more Efficient during INTERVIEWS
As with negotiation, you usually walk into an interview feeling nervous and brain about to implode.
Again, the key we want to implement is to have more work going on subconsciously rather than consciously.
For example, during the interview you need to have great presentation, posture, voice, handshake, eye contact, and smile. This is all before your even looking to sell yourself.
Whether you realized it or not, you’re being graded on each of these points (probably unconsciously by the hiring manager!). Yet, if you focus on all of them at the same time, your head would explode as those acts show themselves subconsciously from repetition.
Your job is to highlight all these points one at a time to make all of them flow naturally come game-time. Note: you do this outside the interview.
Take eye contact. Practice focusing on eye contact throughout a conversation with a co-worker (adjust to the right amount so it’s not creepy). Throughout the day, think back to conversations and grade yourself on your eye contact. Breaking down each one at a time and hammering them home (like a habit) will then come out naturally during the interview.
Mock Interviews: This could be real or fake. For myself, I’ve taken phone interviews for positions that I know that I had no interest in; however, I’m much more myself in person than over the phone, so I take these phone interviews to try and close this gap and better my phone skills. As I progress, phone interviews will come more naturally and require less energy and effort. What parts of the interview do you need to work on?
Try Different Selling Points: Figure out different ways to present yourself and try them out with family or in these mock interviews. ‘Maybe this story works better than another, I should stress this point on my Resume as it tends to get overlooked.’ After a while, you will have built up a routine that will automatically come out and be well-rehearsed AND effective.
You’re Able to Stop Talking and LISTEN more: This is a key point I’ll stress again. During an interview, you’re looking to fill the need of your employer, NOT you. It’s still natural to be selfish and want to spill all the beans about how you’re amazing. When you come in with Point #2, you’ve made your case than can focus on the problems of the hiring manager. They have troubles and it’s up to you find those out through listening and quality reaction.
Harness Energy in your Social Circles
Have you ever met a popular speaker, businessmen, movie star etc.? Notice how many seem to converse so casually and can always hold a great conversation?
Actors practice in front of mirrors to get mannerisms of characters down so that it comes automatically live, and they can then focus on the scene not mannerisms.
Many will complain that “I’m shy” “they’re just a natural net-worker.” Well I’m going to tell you, that’s all BS.
No, everyone isn’t going to be the life of the party, but everyone should be able to socialize more efficiently.
Take Risks: Lewis Howes and Andrew Warner both were self-proclaimed shy and scared to speak in front of others. So, Andrew joined Toastmasters, Lewis found a mentor and now the former has his own popular radio show and Lewis is an acclaimed speaker.
One of the first times Andrew went out on stage (according to his Entrepreneur on Fire interview) he thought he had prepared perfectly, but once out on stage completely bombed and was embarrassed.
Yet, he tested himeself, practiced and now is an excellent speaker and presenter. He stills gets nervous and uses up energy, but his subconscious has taken over many other aspects and he is at ease with himself.
“Joe, you say to meet new interesting people all the time, but that’s uncomfortable, it’s not doable!”
When you first met your best friend, were you high-fiving and having the time of your life chatting? Probably not.
You were probably juggling tons of things in your head: “What do they think of me?”, “What should I say?”, “Do I like this person?” all these different questions and your just tongue-tied at times.
Now, you can speak effortlessly, small talk, spend time in silence etc., and it seems so easy for you. Your mind is at a low energy point and you’re relaxed.
So now you want to translate that into expanding your social circle? Start small.
If you’re introduced to someone new, spend time chatting in a group setting so others are contributing as well. You worry about awkward silences, this is eliminated when there are other people contributing to the conversation.
When I recommend meeting other interesting people, it’s always easiest to find someone with a mutual contact or interest. That’s always an icebreaker and leads to other conversations. If you know you’re about to meet someone, look them up on Facebook etc. Some may think that’s creepy and that’s their problem, but don’t you feel appreciated/more confident when someone you never met comes up to you and compliments you on something you do?
You’re Able to Stop Talking and LISTEN more: Third time’s the charm! An easy way to start a conversation when you’re unsure how it will go? Talk about them! Screw I,I,I, say You, You,You! Everyone likes to talk about themselves.
Tim Ferriss (in his Smart Passive Income Interview) says his main seller of his 1st book, The 4-hour Workweek(non-affiliate), was walk up to speakers after talks and just ask questions about the speakers! Listen and learn!
If you’ve ever done or seen Improv Theater, the best skits are those where the actors are just doing everything naturally. Not overthinking, not trying to be funny. Whenever I try to be funny by thinking of a joke for a while, it never works! (Ask Sam!)
Key Point: Your mind works at different frequencies, but sometimes we make it work, consciously or naturally, much harder than it needs to that important tactics and information can’t be transmitted as efficiently as possible. So your job is to “automate” some of those processes that they move to your unconscious and you can focus on the important things at the moment consciously.
When your computer/phone starts getting hot in your hand you know it’s working harder than normal. So you go and turn off processes that you opened that don’t need to be used at the moment.
Now, you’re trying to do the same thing, except you’re not “turning off” tasks, you’re simply automating them to clear your mind to work efficiently with new information coming at you.
Remember the driving example from above? Can you answer that now?
What things can you automate? Leave a comment below or, even better, share this article with someone you know who could benefit from automation. After that, subscribe below because you’re ready to invest in yourself, your personal equity is at stake! You’ll also receive a Free E-book immediately!
UPDATE: Thanks for these sites for including this post as a favorite!
- Wise Bread
- Making Sense of Cents
- The Writing Reader
- Investing Money Blog
- Lifestyle Carnival
- Write and Get Paid
Sources:Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain (David Eagleman) (affiliate)