Priming is an interesting technique in which an individual attempts to manipulate an individual’s subconscious, through the use of written words or pictures for instance, in order to get them to act in a particular way.
There have been a number of research studies conducted to test this. Some of the more interesting ones I recently read about in the book, Psyched UP: How the Science of Mental Preparation Can Help You Succeed by Daniel McGinn.
One that I want to share with you here was conducted by Gary Latham from the University of Toronto. It dealt with a University call center that was charged with phoning alumni and asking for donations. In the study,
“His research team gave eighty-one employees an information packet outlining the day’s calls, but some of the packets were different from the others. One set contained an inspirational photo of a runner crossing a finish line. The study was designed to find out if just glimpsing a photo denoting success would affect how well the telemarketers performed…The results were unmistakable: Workers whose packets contained the photo raised significantly more money than the unprimed workers.”
Latham was shocked when he saw the results and rechecked the data. “I nearly feel off of my chair,” he said – the reason being, he was a stern disbeliever in priming and specifically did the study to disprove that the technique worked.
Take some time this week to think about the teams you lead. Whether that be co-workers, a sports team or your family. Is there something you can do to prime them for peak performance?
For more information on priming and a lot of other great strategies, check out McGinn’s book - Psyched UP: How the Science of Mental Preparation Can Help You Succeed.
Wishing you success in all aspects of life,
Founder and President
Smart Health Wellness and Performance