Work is all about goals, milestones and projects being completed on time and within budget. Many times, some of these tasks can be daunting to people, such as giving an important presentation, a major client meeting or hitting your sales target.
What we don’t know is that the mind can help us reach these goals in amazing ways. For example, did you know that the brain doesn’t know the difference between what you see with your eyes and what you imagine when you close them! If you imagine yourself lying on a beach, the brain literally thinks that’s where you are. This is because images are converted into neuronal data as they enter the brain and so the brain doesn’t know what’s “real” (seen by the eyes) and what isn’t.
This fact has led to many successful athletes visualising themselves winning their race or their competition as preparation for the actual event. Research has discovered the fascinating fact that when an athlete visualises running and winning a race, the same muscles are “switched on” which create a memory which can be used later. It’s as if the body thinks that it is actually running. This articlefeatures top sports people discussing how they use visualisation to prepare.
This technique can also be used by businesses to help their employees successfully give an important presentation or clinch that critical sales pitch. In visualisation, the important parts are imagining in detail what will happen in terms of sight, sound and smell, e.g. what will you wear, how will it feel to stand up in front of all those people, what is your posture, what questions may be asked and how will you handle them. Practicing this leads to a person becoming accustomed to the event before it occurs and so they can start to imagine and feel themselves confident when the event actually occurs.
It may seem a strange thing to teach employees, but in this fast-paced, evolving environment, the business which has the team with clear goals and confidence in how to achieve them will start to reap the rewards. As the world changes and new research emerges, creating new paradigms in the workplace can give the advantage over competitors. The paradigm of visualisation helps people gain clarity about their aims and objectives
Let’s say an important sales pitch is coming up with an important client. Getting the people involved to visualise the meeting and their client will help them focus on their presentation, what points they need to get across, what phrases to use, what questions they may have to field, even seeing a rapport between them and the client. All this creates a mental memory in their mind and body so that when they walk into the actual meeting, they will have a familiarity and confidence about it.
The above applies just as well to important presentations which many people find uncomfortable. Visualising it will help the person foster the feeling of confidence and knowing that the presentation will be a success. Without this, they may go into the presentation nervous, stumble over words, etc.
The steps to visualisation are:
- Find a quiet place, breath slowly and allow yourself to relax. Feel the muscles in the body relaxing starting from the feet and working up to the shoulders and the neck.
- See, hear and feel what you want to happen in detail. What will you wear, what is the room like, how will you stand/sit, what will you say. Imagine the people who may be there and how you may interact with them.
- Let go of any blocks or obstacles such as the fear of failing or that you won’t reach your goal. If that sounds difficult, start from seeing the sales pitch, etc. being a success and work backwards from there.
As with anything, this takes practice. We don’t expect to run a 10K race in a week if we’ve never run before. It’s the same with visualisation which is a mental exercise we can master.
At EnlightOne we have various courses including visualisation. Consider how beneficial it would be to have employees confident about their work and where they’re heading. This can only help a business in terms of employee happiness, satisfaction and productivity.
Author Bio. – Dr Malti Patel has a PhD in Artificial Intelligence, training in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and has been practising Mindfulness Meditation for over 10 years. Her company EnlightOne provides training to help businesses ensure the wellbeing of their employees.