Labeling your experience makes a difference

Human Brain, Labelling, Thinking

I learned this line of thinking about 20 years back.

I was in Singapore on a business trip. My partner in Singapore had a customer who was having a “problem” and they needed our expertise to solve the problem.

Till that time I always labelled a “problem” as a problem. As engineers we are trained to solve different kinds of problems. Whether they are problems related to calculus or related to magnetic interference in an electrical signal.

Now when I met my partner in Singapore, he changed my whole attitude towards ” problems” by calling them challenges. Especially when dealing with people – and all business problems are about dealing with people – if you label the problem as a challenge, the brain functions differently.

When you look at something in business as a problem the approach that your brain takes is adversarial. It kind of goes into figuring out all kinds of ways of how to oppose the person/company which is causing us the problem.

On the other hand when you label something as a challenge, you try to work collaboratively with the prospect / customer to find a solution. It now makes the whole situation completely different and easier to manage. Now your brain starts doing possibility thinking and looks for various options.

Coming back to my partner in Singapore, I was amazed at the way he labelled the situation with the customer also and then collaboratively worked out a solution between them, customer and us. This turned out to be our first order from Singapore twenty years back.

Since then a lot of times I have observed that the way I label the situation has a lot to do the way I solve it. If I am labelling the situation as manageable then I find a solution faster. The brain does get influenced by the labels we put.

Try this and let me know who you benefit.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!