You might say I am on a bit of a Malcolm Gladwell kick. In the past week I’ve finished two out of his three books.
Yesterday I started listening to his third book: Blink
In Blink, Gladwell talks about the significance of a concept called Priming. Check out these two excerpts:
“Two Dutch researchers did a study in which they had groups of students answer forty-two fairly demanding questions from the board game Trivial Pursuit. Half were asked to take five minutes beforehand to think about what it would mean to be a professor and write down everything that came to mind. Those students got 55.6 percent of the questions right. The other half of the students were asked to first sit and think about soccer hooligans. They ended up getting 42.6 percent of the Trivial Pursuit questions right. The “professor” group didn’t know more than the “soccer hooligan” group. They weren’t smarter or more focused or more serious. They were simply in a “smart” frame of mind, and clearly, associating themselves with the idea of something smart, like a professor, made it a lot easier – in that stressful instant after a trivia question was asked—to blurt out the right answer. The difference between 55.6 and 42.6 percent, it should be pointed out, is enormous. That can be the difference between passing and failing.”
“The psychologists Claude Steele and Joshua Aronson created an even more extreme version of this test, using black college students and twenty questions taken from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), the standardized test used for entry into graduate school. When the students were asked to identify their race on a pretest questionnaire, that simple aft was sufficient to prime them with all the negative stereotypes associated with African-Americans and academic achievement—the number of items they got right was cut in half.”
In both situations the results were impacted by things that influenced the thoughts or mindset of the individuals. They didn’t even know it.
Isn’t this kind of scary?
What this tells me is MINDSET IMPACTS RESULTS, and we can do things that impact our mindset. We can prime our mind!
This message probably isn’t anything new to you. Between playing sports and my educational and professional experiences, this has been something that has been pounded in my head. Perhaps you can relate. The challenge I have is, if this message is so often communicated, why isn’t it used more?
Let’s think about this for a moment. What is the mindset of someone who is disengaged? If “mindset impacts results“, what kind of results are these employees getting for the organizations they work for? How does this impact the rest of their lives?
What are these people doing to Prime their Minds?
Prime Your Mind
Think about the power you have to impact the results you are getting. Consider all the things you can do to prime your mind and set you up for success? What if you were intentional about the things you surround yourself with and pay attention to?
How would that impact each day?
How would that impact your life?
How primed will you be by 30?