I’ve often written about the subconscious and how it’s a driver of most of our behavior. In his book Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior American physicist Leonard Mlodinow contends as much as 95% of your behavior is happening because of drivers you’re unaware of! This came to mind recently because of two separate instances.
The first was a guest podcast appearance. Before taping the show I’d quickly reviewed the host’s LinkedIn profile. I saw he worked for a short time at Kodak.
My first, and only thought about Kodak in that moment, was whether or not he was there when a business acquaintance was running Kodak’s marketing. I resolved to ask him about it. But, just as quickly as I learned about that fact, I forgot about it.
As the podcast episode progressed the host asked me about my first book, Influence PEOPLE. I shared a little about the book and when I mentioned there were several case studies he inquired further. That’s when I mentioned the chapter I called “The Saddest Kodak Moment.” As I shared some persuasive insights on Kodak’s downfall, he told me he worked at Kodak and that I was right on the money about some of their business issues around their bankruptcy.
When he mentioned he’d worked at Kodak it suddenly hit me that I’d seen that fact no more than an hour ago. I can say with all honesty, I never thought I needed to share the Kodak chapter because of his time with the company. My subconscious however, decided to do that for me. It was if my mind had a mind of its own.
In the opening I mentioned two incidents. The other occurred over the weekend when Jane got her first Covid shot. I drove her to the appointment and waited in the car. Almost immediately upon entering the building she texted me to ask if I could take a picture of our insurance card. She’d forgotten hers so of course, I obliged.
Seeing the name on the insurance card, Medi-Share, suddenly made me realize something I’d not consciously thought about. I’m working on a third book to teach influence, The Influencer: Secrets to Success and Happiness. Unlike my first two books, this one is a story format. It follows the life of a young man, John Andrews, as he learns about the psychology of persuasion in college then on the job through training, mentors, and clients. The company he works for is MediTech Supplies. It never crossed my mind about my health care provider when I named the company in this fictitious story.
How Could I Miss Those?
Jane once pulled the wool over my eyes (She’s probably done it more than once but that’s for another post). I asked her if the coat she was wearing was new. She said something like, “This? I got it last year.” It wasn’t until sometime later that she confessed that it was new. Apparently, I’d asked the question in January and she bought the coat in December. New? Yes! Bought it last year…also true.
She joked later saying, “You teach this stuff, and you didn’t catch that?” My reply was something along the lines of, “My radar isn’t always up with my loved ones but well played.”
Okay, some cute stories to drive home the point that our (yours and mine) subconscious is driving more of your thinking, decision making, and behavior than we realize. If I teach people and have blind spots, then how many blind spots do people have who are unaware of how their minds work. We’re not the economic, weigh all the options before making a decision, beings we like to believe we are. It’s always good to explore why you do what you do.
Brian Ahearn, CMCT®, is the Chief Influence Officer at Influence PEOPLE, LLC. An author, TEDx speaker, international trainer, coach, and consultant, he’s one of only 20 people in the world personally trained by Robert Cialdini, Ph.D., the most cited living social psychologist on the science of ethical influence.
Brian’s first book, Influence PEOPLE, was named one of the 100 Best Influence Books of All Time by BookAuthority. His second book, Persuasive Selling, was a new release bestseller in several Amazon categories.
Brian’s LinkedIn Learning courses on the application of persuasion in sales and coaching have been viewed by more than 350,000 people around the world.