The invisible gorilla concept is a real thing. It’s named after a study where two teams of kids were videotaped passing basketballs back and forth while bobbing and weaving and dodging each other on the court. The experiment was that viewers were told to keep count of the throws of the basketball. About a minute into this, a large man in a gorilla suit walks directly into the middle of the kids, stops, beats his chest, then strolls away while the kids keep playing. After the video ends, the researchers asked the viewers if they saw the gorilla. About half the audience completely missed the gorilla!

Because the viewers were so focused on the complex task of counting basketball throws, they narrowed their attention and blocked out everything other than those throws Рthey literally could not see the big, hairy gorilla right in front of them! (You can look for the gorilla yourself here: https://youtu.be/vJG698U2Mvo).

That effect – of the ‘invisible gorilla’ – is caused by ‘inattentional blindness’, or perceptual blindness. It’s a¬†psychological lack of attention vs. a physical issue with vision. Basically, it means the person fails to see an unexpected stimulus in plain sight.

What does that mean to you and me as businesspeople? It means we might get so focused on what we think our challenges and opportunities are that we miss the obvious because we don’t expect something other than what we are focusing on at the moment.

Let’s say you are focused on working Thor’s Hammer – you’re making your calls, setting up your appointments, going to your face-to-face meetings and working hard when your spouse casually mentions that her friend, Susie, said that her friend was looking to buy a new house or your buddy tells you that he heard about a developer getting ready to build a new community. You might hear ‘noise’ or social chit chat and completely miss that somebody is going to need at least one loan in either of those situations.

Maybe you’re so focused on hitting your numbers that you forget to call your clients with a quick status on your loans. Maybe you’re working too hard by doing it all yourself and you completely miss the fact that you could be doing twice as much (and making more money) by hiring a loan processor. Or maybe you’re so focused on doing things the way you’ve always done that you don’t even think that there might be a better, more efficient way to run your business.

The point is that you might have an invisible gorilla in your business right now. You can’t see it because you’re too busy counting your throws. And that’s not a bad thing! But it does mean you could be missing something really important and you need help to see it. I was working with someone just last week who told me that they just couldn’t take a day off because weekends were catch-up from the week before – until I crossed out not just one but TWO days on their calendar for planned time off. There is nobody who can sustain the level of energy we need in business without at least a day off every week. But I digress…

If you can’t see your gorilla, we got your back! Let us help you improve your vision (and your business!). Sign up for one of our strategy sessions – there isn’t a catch to it (no obligatory gorillas there!). We simply want to pay it forward and help you see what you might be missing in your business right now. Here’s how you can schedule your session: www.LoanOfficerStrategyCall.com.

Meanwhile, if you have a way that you use to reset your attention in business – a day off, coffee with a friend, a walk around the block – share it. We all win by helping each other and I’m always looking for good ‘hacks’ to get more out of my day too. Thanks in advance.

Carl White, Chief Officer of Coolness

Article Originally Posted on LinkedIn

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