News article

How to use your neurobiology to win friends and influence people

Have you ever walked into a room and been greeted by someone whose smile was so infectious you couldn’t help but smile yourself?

Maybe the opposite is true, and the person you met was in such a foul mood that you found yourself in a grump for the rest of the day?

It’s no coincidence that you were so easily affected by this other person’s mood. In fact, in the 1990s scientists discovered what they believe to be the cause of the phenomenon: mirror neurons.

Mirror neurons are an exciting bit of neurobiology, and when you know more about them, you could even use them to your advantage.

Mirror neurons could be the reason humans feel empathy

Mirror neurons are nerve cells in the brain that light up whether we are watching someone else perform an action or we’re performing the action ourselves. In other words, they help us to imagine what it’s like for the other person to be performing that action.

So, sometimes if you see someone across the room in a fit of giggles, your mirror neurons will pick up on the behaviour and usually set you off with a smile or a laugh too – even if you haven’t got the faintest idea what they were laughing about in the first place.

Similarly, watching a film about a tragic event could have you feeling down or starting to cry, even if you’ve never experienced what the characters on screen are going through (mirror neurons really do have a lot to answer for!).

Scientists think that these neurons could be an important part of human development, helping us to learn from, and build relationships with, those around us.

When you know how they work, you could use mirror neurons to help those around you

If mirror neurons allow you to pick up on and sometimes even change your mood based on the emotions and facial expressions of those around you, it follows that the reverse could also be true.

Imagine the influence that your own emotions could have on those around you and the impact you could have if you actively tried to create a positive atmosphere in the room.

Let’s say you have a meeting coming up that you’re very nervous about. If you walk in with your shoulders hunched over, avoiding eye contact with everyone, and mumbling a perfunctory “hello”, it’s possible that the people you’re meeting would begin to feel uneasy and nervous themselves.

But if you walk in with a smile on your face and greet your colleagues or clients warmly, imagine what the other people in the room could mirror back to you? As their own mirror neurons tell them “this person is relaxed and happy to see you”, they’ll be more likely to display the same warmth and positivity back to you, until everyone in the room is feeling the benefits.

It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “fake it ‘til you make it”, doesn’t it?

Mirror neurons can be helpful in a range of situations

You might be wondering what on earth this could possibly have to do with marketing your business – other than perhaps helping you to feel a little more confident in your meetings.

The truth is the positive effects of mirror neurons can be applied to a whole range of different situations. A few of the places where you might be able to use them to diffuse tension and keep things feeling positive are:

  • In client meetings
  • On discovery calls
  • In a job interview
  • In a performance review
  • When networking with new people.

All you need to do is decide what you’d like to see mirrored back to you and start sending out those positive vibes.

Get in touch

We’ll leave it to you to use those mirror neurons to keep your discovery meetings feeling positive and turning prospects into clients with ease.

But if you’d like some help getting those prospects through the door with a water-tight marketing strategy, we can certainly help with that.

Find out more by emailing or calling 0115 8965 300.

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