Updated: Aug 12
Mental rehearsals are often used by athletes and have been for many years, so why hasn't it reached the business team?
Mental rehearsals are the act of practicing for example a scenario, a role or a task mentally inside our minds without actually having to perform it in reality. You can practice it over and over again with minimal use of energy and you can do it pretty much anywhere!
The benefit is that your brain is ''tricked'' into believing that you have actually completed the task, so having already completed it, you're now only going to have to repeat it, we know repeating something is generally a lot easier than doing it the first time!
So back to my question, why is it not used more in business? Actually some rare people do use it in business, but it is pretty rare. One of the reasons is that good athletes generally have good coaches, athletic coaches are always looking for the edge, a way to overcome the competition, leaving the athlete to focus purely on training, this form of coaching is rare in the business world. The other is lack of information. How do you visualise something? It's maybe not as easy as you think to work it out for yourself, so how can you start?
Here is a simple way to help yourself mentally rehearse.
1. Write down the task in as much detail as possible, what is the task? where is it going to happen? who will be there? what are the possible ''curve balls'' or problems? what preparation could you do for it?
2. Grab a recording device, dicta-phone, smart phone etc. Relaxing background music is also helpful.
Find somewhere quiet to record this......
Now record yourself saying.... (say what is highlighted)
1. What is the task? now keep recording going as you'll need to give yourself time to visualise this inside your mind (around 30 seconds should be good) DO NOT TALK during the 30 second gap!
keep the recording going.....
2. I see who is there and who might be there? what are they doing how are they behaving? Again, give yourself 30 seconds in the recording to be able to visualise this when you listen to your recording.
keep the recording going....
3. Now I see myself doing the task or action, I see myself successfully completing the task looking at it from different angles, watching myself and watching the others involved, seeing the outcome. Again, give yourself 30 seconds in the recording to be able to visualise this when you listen to your recording.
Keep the recording going....
Now I see myself a week after the task is completed, seeing the benefit and reward of completing it. Again, give yourself 30 seconds in the recording to be able to visualise this when you listen to your recording.
Keep the recording going....
I'm now going to take 3 deep breaths and open my eyes...
Now you've got a recording of yourself to listen to as much as you'd like, simply put on a set of headphones and visualise!
Good luck with your task!