If you’ve read much on visualization, you’ve probably heard of the basketball free throw study.
There were 3 groups:
- Group A: Practiced free throws 20 minutes a day.
- Group B: Did nothing.
- Group C: Only visualized making free throws 20 minutes a day.
After 20 days, the each group’s accuracy was tested again. Group A improved by 24%. Group B didn’t improve. Group C improved by 23%.
From that study, we know that visualization can nearly match actual experience. Let’s take that one step further. If you want maximum control over your situation, in addition to creating your own mental movies, take the time to create the mental movies of others.
You may know what you want it to look like when you execute a movement, make a sale or score a goal. Do you also know what you want it to look like from someone else’s perspective? Unless you’re making videos of your performance, you probably haven’t given much though to what you look like.
To have a more complete and effective performance, complete the experience. Otherwise you’re only really rehearsing a one side of a conversation. What do you want your customer to see, hear and feel from her interaction with you? What do you want the other team to think you’re doing? Craft that mental movie.
If you want to supercharge the process, do a complete model of the person. It’s been said that the best way to persuade others is to enter into the conversation already running in their head. Find out as much as you can about their beliefs, emotions, strategies and behaviors when it comes to their interactions with you. If you want to influence the other, be the other.
They say practice makes perfect. I once heard a motivational speaker make his own twist and say that practice makes permanent and only perfect practice makes perfect. That’s to say that practicing reinforces things. It’s only by practicing things correctly that you’ll be able to execute correctly. That’s what visualization and mental movies allow for. Create those perfect movies of yourself AND the others in your space.
Crafting mental movies for others is no guarantee of any particular outcome. But taking that extra step can only improve your chances of having the experience you want most.