Thursday, December 19, 2013

Unconscious Strategies You Didn't Know You Had And How To Make Them Work For You

"I don't use a strategy in my personal life. I don't have any plans."

That's what most of us probably see as a true statement.

In fact it is probably not true at all. We are creatures of habit and that habitual behaviour, if you were to study it would reveal patterns that repeat over and over.

How we buy things, is a great example of our unconscious patterns of strategy at work. What is really interesting is that companies are now using technology and neuromarketing techniques to track our spending patterns across the web and use this to sell us more junk. Yet we are largely unaware still, of our own patterns. There is something that strikes me as wrong with that arrangement.

An unconscious strategy is an internal process around an action that we take. It may start with an action to be taken, incorporate a feeling that we have about that and the action that we take next will pass through a series of filters that will affect when we do it (now or procrastinate), what we feel about doing it, what other actions we need to take on the way to doing it and the order in which we do these things. For example if you are leaving the house, it makes sense to check that you have your keys in your hand before you pull the door shut - and not after.

An example of an unconscious strategy might be the one we use for buying things. Buying strategy for a big item like a car might look something like this:

For others, they have a different set of conditions as their criterion that must be met before they will buy.

Sometimes the strategy that we use already for certain things works perfectly. Other times we may be using strategies that are not helping us and may be causing us problems and getting us results that are not working for us very well at all and giving us results that we don't want.

Knowing that these strategies exist mean that we have options now, to review and revise and even borrow strategies from others who are really good at doing those things that we are not so good at.

And that's a fantastic strategy!

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