Did you know that the part of your brain that is responsible for your imagination lives in the same space that actually does these same things? In other words, your brain is doing the same thing when it visualizes doing an action as it does when you are physically performing the action.
Your smart little brain does not know the difference between imaging an activity in vivid detail vs. actually doing that thing.
Stay with me…
When you have a thought, it triggers the same cascade of neurochemicals, regardless of whether you are thinking about the past, present, or future. Your brain is stimulated the same way whether you’re physically performing an action or simply visualizing it happen in your mind’s eye.
When an athlete, for example, visualizes success on the court, or in the pool, or the track, or whatever… the body and brain perceive that as being a reality - something happening in the present moment (even though it hasn't happened in real life just yet).
And this sets off a cascade effect, which scientists have found leads to improved performance and success.
When you start to visualize as a regular practice, a series of things happen. In fact, the practice of visualizing on a regular basis has been found as an effective aid in:
Recovering from illness
Learning to play an instrument
Alleviating depression and anxiety
Improving relationships, and
Promoting success in career and business endeavors
Why not use it to help you in negotiation?
In February, Compass by Take Charge Negotiations focused on how to use visualization to set yourself up for positive negotiation experiences and outcomes.
This included a 10 day challenge, in which we committed to a daily visualization practice related to some negotiation/ problem/discussion that's been weighing on us.
For more information on how we dissect mindfulness in negotiation each month, click here.
Here are some ideas for how you can try this out before your next negotiation... whether that's with your professional colleagues or your kids.
First, get a clear picture of what you plan to achieve. In the context of negotiation, this might be helpful to you in a variety of ways, including:
You may choose to visualize the planning process, remaining open to new ideas and developing an approach to the negotiation that will help you achieve your desired outcome.
You might also visualize how the sharing and bargaining phases of the negotiation transpire in a way that leas you to your desired outcome.
Another option is to focus on that end game - really hone in on the final stage of the negotiation, what it feels like and what you have achieved.
Once you are clear on where to place your focus, imagine that scene in great detail.
Then let us know what you think!