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One Thing to Know About Your Brain That Will Change Your Life: Ann Herrmann-Nehdi (Transcript)

How many of you have a family member spouse or somebody like that, who is really a different thinker than you are? Let’s see. All right. So our research shows that opposites attract, and then we have to deal with the differences every day. Right?

And sometimes that shows up in interesting ways. So if you were to look at this little example, a person saying, I love you, and the other person says, do you have evidence to support that statement?

So this can be irritating, but we have a choice. Every morning at breakfast, you have an opportunity to invite that different perspective into your world and to embrace it.

So I encourage you to look for those opportunities with family. Now families are also really good at pointing out what we’re not so good at, you ever notice that?

Our blind spots, we all have our blind spots, I certainly have my own, being I’m not really a process and detail person. So yeah, I’ve missed a few deadlines in my time.

But what I’ve had to learn to do is to build in that blind spot into whatever it is I’m doing. And working with a large global company IHG, they decided to do this with their project management training. They had project managers who really struggled to kind of keep their eye on the big picture and think about all the possibilities.

And they knew from our research that drawing something actually helps open up that part of your brain. So they started their training by having them each draw something.

And at first, they felt really uncomfortable and kind of silly drawing and then they got used to it. And they saw how easily that shifted their thinking.

Or maybe a group of engineers I worked with, who were so into the technical aspects of their work that we completely forget the customer that they were building the product for.

And so what they did was they decided that every meeting they had, they would have to share a story about one of their customers. And just preparing for that before the meeting would shift their thinking.

One of my favorites is a college student I know who was really having a hard time getting their papers in on time. So he actually went out and found an app, that was really fun. And he would use it to actually get organized and started getting his stuff in on time and his grades improved.

Or a local business that really wanted to be for profit, but was not making any money. And they realized that they didn’t have a voice at the table to actually talk about the bottom line. And so they brought in a part time person in their meetings to make sure that they were focusing on the finances of the business and they actually saw their business improved.

It’s really up to you. On average, Americans spend 444 minutes a day; that’s 7.4 hours looking at screens. That’s TVs, devices, laptops, etc, that’s 3.7 months of your year in screen sub time.

It’s interesting because as you look at that, chances are I would suspect that some of that is on autopilot. Have any of you ever experienced that going online and then you look at your watch, and two, three hours have gone by, have you’ve experienced that? And you’re not taking advantage of this incredible system, you might miss something really important, like this little silly cartoon shows.

It’s up to you. It’s really up to you. You can take control of your brain. Be aware especially of the context that you’re in, recognize your patterns and your preferences, invite different perspectives to the table.

Manage your blind spots by building them in, be intentional about where your thinking time goes, choose to wake up that lazy brain of yours.

You know, in life, we can either kind of sit in the backseat of the car and kind of ride along on autopilot. Or we can move to the front seat, take the steering wheel and take control of this incredibly precious resource that we have.

So the one thing you need to know about your brain is for best results, use daily, you’ve got a whole brain, leverage it. Thank you.

 

Download The Transcript as PDF here: One Thing to Know About Your Brain That Will Change Your Life_ Ann Herrmann-Nehdi (Transcript)

 

Resources for Further Reading: 

What is a Thought? How the Brain Creates New Ideas: Henning Beck (Transcript)

Creative Thinking: How to Get Out of The Box and Generate Ideas by Giovanni Corazza (Transcript)

Dopamine: Driving Your Brain into the Future: Daniel Lieberman (Transcript)

The Brain May Be Able To Repair Itself — With Help: Jocelyne Bloch (Transcript)

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