Its not what you think, Its how you think

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Imagination isnt what we think, Its how we think. Imagination is situated between our perception and our understanding. We dont see the world the way it is, we see the world according to our experiences.

“Our comforting conviction that the world makes sense rests on a secure foundation: our almost unlimited ability to ignore our ignorance.”

Our experience of perception are instruments of understanding, that somethings are going to be easy for us to perceive and understand and some of them a bit difficult and some are impossible. We can see things we already know and wont see things that we dont know. believing is seeing or is seeing believing?

If it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, then it must be a duck right?!

Our mind, our imagination will pick out a bit of what we know and fill in the blanks to make the picture. We have this reality, this illusion of objectivity. Sympathetic magic!

The law of similarity, like produces like. Like attracts like. Like causes like. How do 2 things connect? Metaphors? Stereotypes? Representativeness? Its all the same thing really. This is how we make sense of the world. What is it that supports the perception of your thoughts?

Its funny how quickly with people we are to stereo type without thought.

  • Attractive people are more honest. We do give more money to honest people more often then someone who isnt.
  •  If you are perceived to be something, you might as well be it because that’s the truth in people’s minds.

When we find people we dont like, we generally lean into thinking they are bad and only see or hear what supports that. We filter to support that thought. A small behavior is taken and drawn out to be built out to a trait. oh, that person is… oh, that person did… This behavior limits our identity, limits what we choose to do.

When people apply this to us… it influences how they perceive us, and how they respond to us. Taking something so ambiguous and open to interpretation and grabbing a hold of one small part of it. This is a natural ability and it happens very fast and unconsciously.

When something is taken as real, that may or may not be is what we made up to ourselves. Was it natural and undiscovered or was it an act of imagination?

When something is invented or created, its always the question of what is this in terms of that? Humans love to unleash the imagination!  Conditions under uncertainty. outcomes are not predicable. What ever happened to rational thinking? Thinking things through in our own voices. No pollution from others.

How did the most important mental ability we have become controlled and abused?

How do you change of the perception of others?

“Your perception may not be my reality”

Most of what happens in perceivers’ minds is automatic and unconscious. This is Phase 1 of the perception process, and it is riddled with bias. In Phase 2, perceivers use the part of the brain concerned with logic and reason. This is a much more effortful thinking process, one that requires energy. Consequently, they avoid it to conserve brain resources. More often than not, Phase 2 is never activated. People form opinions of you and your message with Phase 1 assumptions – and then they move on.

“Statistically speaking, there are only weak correlations between how others see us and how we believe we are seen,” 

Without even realizing it, we’re likely operating under two flawed assumptions:

  1. Other people see/ hear you objectively as you are.
  2. Other people see/ hear you from another persons perception.

Three Perceptual Filters

You never start from scratch when meeting new people. Their brains are rapidly filling in details about you, even if you’ve never met them before.

We view others through three lenses or filters:

  • Trust
  • Power
  • Ego

The Trust Filter

The first thing people do when listening to you is determine whether to trust you. This decision is made almost entirely unconsciously.

We can build trust in many ways:

  • Project Warmth and Competence. This is perhaps the most important component of gaining others’ trust. How well do you communicate friendliness, loyalty and empathy? Do you come across as intelligent, skillful and effective?
  • Trust Them First. We are naturally inclined to reciprocate favors and extend trust to someone who has trusted us first.
  • Pay Attention. People who make eye contact, smile, nod, recognize individuals by name and really listen are the ones who excel at communicating.
  • Share Your Stories. When you share past experiences (especially your mistakes), you become vulnerable, thereby extending trust to listeners.
  • Walk Your Talk. People need to see you make good on your promises and carry out your stated intentions.

The Power Filter

Power changes the way we see other people, especially when there’s a power differential.

When we speak, they must be mindful of how our power influences their message. Failing to address the issue leaves room for perceivers to fill in the blanks.

“What you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing; it also depends on what sort of person you are. “

The Ego Filter

The ego lens has one goal: to protect and enhance the perceiver’s self-esteem. Perceivers will always protect their self-esteem, including their decision to receive or reject our message.

Successful Communication

Identify your ingrained assumptions, biases and filters so you can manage them more effectively. Halvorson suggests…..

  1. Take your time. Always remember that your first impression may be dead wrong. There are always other possible interpretations of someone’s behavior.
  2. Commit to being fair. We sometimes forget to be fair when we judge someone. The more you consciously implement fairness, the more accurate your perceptions will be.
  3. Beware of the confirmation bias. Once you form an impression, you’ll seek evidence to confirm it. You’ll ignore other behaviors, even (and perhaps especially) if they contradict your impressions. Have the courage to confront your biases and accept reality.

If there is a huge gap between your intended message and how others hear it, you will need to closely examine your communication style and substance.

“There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.” –Aldous Huxley/ Jim Morrison

“Whoever controls the media, controls the mind”  -Jim Morrison


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