Many of the guests I’m drawn to on Inside Influence – come about because I believe they provide a different lens on the subject of influence. FBI Negotiators talking about high stakes conversations – orchestra conductors sharing their lessons in leadership – big wave surfers on how to master fear.
Today’s interview takes that different lens – twists it, turns it into an optical illusion – and then reflects back at you the very assumption that made you perceive it as a lens in the first place. Sound un-necessarily complicated? Maybe – and yet it’s vital to understanding the most fundamental tool of influence. How you perceive and respond to the world around you.
Every piece of information you receive – about people, situations, tools (from this podcast or other sources you follow) – is ultimately only ever shaped by the meaning you give it. How do we choose what meaning to give things? By cross referencing that particular piece of information – piece of stimuli – against a series of assumptions – all of which were formed by our past experiences.
So again – why is this important to influence? As a bottom line – your assumptions dictate how you respond in any situation. Every decision you make, about how to proceed, who to trust, whether to leap into the next opportunity, how to navigate that next high intensity conversation, whether to stand up and be heard on stage or in the boardroom – are all 100% dictated by these assumptions that were created somewhere in your past.
So our history determines what we look at – and what we look at creates our history. Cycle after cycle of thinking you’re running the show – only to realise that – in fact – an out of date show (usually with a very inexperienced script writer) is running you.
Unless, in the worlds of my next guest – Beau Lotto – you can learn how to deviate.
Beau is a professor of neuroscience at the University of London, and a Visiting Scholar at New York University. His work and research over the past 25 years has focused on the biology and psychology of perception. In layman’s terms – he studies the science of how we see the world. And how that knowledge can be used to unlock our ability to create, innovate, influence – and ultimately affect change.
In 2001 he founded the lab of Misfits, a neuro-design studio that was resident for two years at London’s Science Museum. He is also the author of the bestselling book ‘Deviate – The Science of Seeing Things Differently’
In today’s assumption busting conversation we cover off:
- Why your aim should always be to know less than you did yesterday (especially about the people and situations you think you know the most about)
- Why we are usually blind to our assumptions – especially those we inherit – and how to identify and decode our programmed responses
- How to stop focusing on answers and start becoming obsessive about asking better questions
- Why how you perceive yourself LITERALLY determines what you see in the world – this one blew my mind – I’ll let Beau explain – but in essence how powerful you feel yourself to be changes your physiology and the patterns you are able to identify.
- How to use play – or if you dislike that word – experiments – to first overcome our hatred and then start to thrive in uncertainty.
- And finally why – as leaders, parents and influencers – having an awareness of our biases and assumptions – and then being able to deviate – gives us choice.
So… grab yourself your caffeinated beverage of choice… or for this one maybe a glass of wine… and get ready to jump into a world where your perceptions of what’s true – are a mile away from what’s actually possible. Welcome to the world of Beau Lotto.