What colour comes to mind when I say Coca-Cola?
I’m guessing some of you just thought the word red.
And it’s not because I’m Derren Brown – you’ve had connections light up in your brain because coca cola has spent gazillions on advertising.
I‘ve been listening to Dan Cable, a professor at London Business school, talk about the brain phenomenon called spreading activation. He wondered if you could light up specific parts of your brain when you think about yourself and create improved performance.
And guess what? You can.
One experiment took 246 leaders who were taking part in a 10-day business simulation and asked them to invite several key people in their life to describe a memory of when they’d seen this leader be at their ‘best-self’. You know those moments – you’re working to your strengths and really bringing it home. You’re in flow. You’re having an impact.
Half the group were given the best-self memories to read at the start of the simulation and the other half at the end.
Would this make a difference to their performance?
✔ The group that read about themselves BEFORE the simulation performed significantly better in the team effectiveness scores.
How amazing is that? Just recognising times when you were at your best can make it easier to be that person more often.
⭐ You can apply this research yourself.
Daydreaming on your commute? Tune into a memory of when you were really nailing it. Activate that part of your brain often enough and the research shows that you can become that person more often. I’m experimenting with this technique myself.
👍 This morning I tuned into how I prioritised the right things last half term – I took my daughter and her friend shopping and sat in the cafe and nailed the bits I’ve been avoiding on my to-do list. 😊
When have you been at your best self recently?