With what we have so far, let’s consider what happens when we process a new thought.
Whether analysing data, weighing a strategic decision or unravelling a business issue, our brains instantly create a map of that idea and, in the blink of an eye, compare it to all our existing maps. And where we find solid-enough connections, a new map is formed that then becomes part of our wiring.
The act of thinking (which is to say: creating a new map) is a specific and observable event: both in others and in ourselves.
- In others: they pause and go quiet, they look up or off into the distance, their face and voice change.
- In ourselves: well, we’ve all experienced that moment of insight; the “aha” moment when we link ideas not previously connected to form a new idea. And with it, we’ve enjoyed the pleasing feelings of clarity, motivation and commitment. We’ve wanted to get into action, there and then.
This compulsion for subsequent action is driven by the release of energy that accompanies deep thinking. Whilst the initial matching / comparing / associating process is an expensive operation, the resulting creation of a new map is accompanied by useful changes in brain chemistry, including the release of neurotransmitters like adrenaline and dopamine.
- How useful would it be if we could spot that thinking and capitalise on it?
- Wouldn’t it be great if our approach to work and business induced these new connections and allowed our colleagues, clients, customers and teams to form their own maps?
Questions like these are the essence of professional coaching. And with some practised thought, can have application and benefit for all of us at work and in business.