For many years, Dr. Maxwell Maltz had a flourishing practice as a reconstructive and cosmetic facial surgeon. After a decade of counseling hundreds of patients and extensive research of everything from German missile guidance technology to hypnosis and testing his evolving “success conditioning techniques” on athletes an salespeople, he published a series of findings that have led many to making magical shifts in their leadership abilities – both for themselves and their business.
In this groundbreaking book, “Psycho Cybernetics”, Dr. Maltz suggested that many people “see themselves” inaccurately, their perceptions distorted by unchallenged and often erroneous beliefs embedded in the subconscious mind.
Maltz recognized that, in addition to the reconstruction work on the outside, the patient needed to have reconstruction work on the “inside,” on the patient’s self-image.
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The self image is a mental picture that each person has of himself or herself. It includes our beliefs about our abilities and deficiencies, whether we are popular or not, and so forth. Some of these beliefs may have been true at one time, but are no longer true. Until those beliefs are changed, our behavior will continue to be defined by those beliefs.
Maltz saw human behavior as a negative feedback (cybernetic) system. This is the same type of system used in a torpedo or a guided missile.
When the torpedo or missile is fired, it will correct its course to reach its goal. In actual fact, when the Apollo 13 was going to the moon, it was on track for a mere 2% of the time. People also correct their behavior to reach their goals, including behaving according to their self image.
One of Maltz’s key concepts was the Theater of the Mind, or synthetic experience. Here is an example of how it works.
There are three teams of basketball players. One team practices making free throws. The second team doesn’t practice. The third team sits on a bench and mentally practices making free throws. When the three teams are tested, the team that practiced out-scores the team that didn’t practice. However, the team that mentally practiced performs nearly as well as the team that actually practiced.
Maltz found he could actually improve performance by helping an individual mentally “see” himself or herself doing the activity perfectly.
So, in developing yourself as a leader in your business; whether in managing your dream team, mastering cash flow or improving the effectiveness of your time, begin seeing yourself as the person you want to be.
As the saying goes…Start with the end in mind.
Cover image courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/nyc_xmas/3447534527/