Monday, 13 October 2014

Working Memory App for your selling brain part 2

Everything you know and remember whether it’s a call event, a skill or a fascinating fact, started is way into your selling mind’s storage by going through your working memory.

Lego® artwork by Nathan Sawaya at the "Art of the brick"
exhibition at The Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane ,London
Neuroscientists tell us that it is more than just a clearing house for long term memories. It is better to envisage it as the brain’s scratch pad: where information is held and manipulated.

If you are doing anything which requires effort and focused  thought such as concentrated listening, finding solutions to client’s problems, resolving complaints, answering customer objections you are using working memory.

An influential model proposed by University of York’s Badelley and Hitch in the ‘70s came up with the concept of an executive controller which runs the show by focusing on the relevant information.

This controller also kicks ‘slave’ systems into action.

3 slave systems of working memory

  1. One of these holds up to 4 pieces of visual information at a time.
  2. A second one can memorises about 2 seconds of sound especially spoken words, which it loops over and over a gain (think of mentally repeating a phone number while searching for a pen.  
  3. The third is the episodic buffer, which adds relevant information from the long-term memory.

A weakness of this model is that working memory does not occupy a discrete area of the brain that can be monitored  in action in a brain scanner.

Due to this some neuro scientists have suggested that it might not be a separate system at all but part of long term memory we are currently paying attention to.
Whatever it is , it comes as a standard to our selling mind but some people have better memories than others.

Hugh Alford sharing thoughts with Nathan Sawaya's
Seated Lego
® man from "The Art of the Brick " exhibition 
currently at the Old Truman Brewery , Brick Lane London
Working memory capacity is a better predictor of academic success than IQ, so getting the most out of it is useful.

The good news is that the system can probably be upgraded. Some studies show that braining training  programmed aimed in particular at working memory can produce improvements.

Cognitive neuro scientist Jason Chein of Temple University , Pennsylvania who works on the field of working memory  says that there seems to be improvements  in other cognitive skills although the changes are quite small . But even a modest gain can have a meaningful impact on every cognition.

 Jason Chein says we don't yet know for sure how to improve working memory, but here are some suggestions:

  • Engage in regular physical exercise
  • Find mental tasks like Boggle that challenge working memory.
  • Try mindfulness meditation, which isn't just relaxation, but focusing internal attention.
  • Avoid continuous periods of high mental workload just before important tasks, as they can deplete working memory.
  • Give your mind some actual downtime.
  • Don't pull out the smartphone every time you have a break.

Related Links and Info

The Selling Mind Attention App

New Scientist October 4th Issue 

Mindfulness for salespeople

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