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VOL. 126 | NO. 18 | Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chris Crouch

Are You Well-Connected?


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How successful are you when interacting with others? A brief lesson on open and closed systems could improve your potential to build stronger interpersonal connections. This, in turn, will help you build a successful business.

A system is a connected set of things that work together to accomplish a goal. Systems can be classified as open-loop or closed-loop.

An automobile cruise control is a good example of a system that can be both. When you reach your desired speed and engage the cruise control, the system is functioning in a closed-loop manner as far as you are concerned. You are not a part of the ongoing feedback and adjustment process that keeps the system functioning properly.

However, if you tap on the brakes, the system “opens up” and you become a part of the ongoing feedback and adjustment process. At this point, the cruise control can be thought of as an open-loop system from your perspective.

So, what does all this have to do with being well-connected? It appears that certain elements of the human nervous system are open-looped. I won’t go into too many details, but many scientists make a strong case that invisible information is being exchanged between two people engaged in an interaction. It’s referred to as limbic resonance. This somewhat mysterious information has a lot to do with whether or not we view an interaction as a positive or negative experience.

Most of us don’t really need a scientist to explain this. We’ve experienced it. Anyone who has watched an on-stage actor or comedian “bomb” understands that emotions can somehow be transmitted from one human to another. A bombing performer makes most of us cringe.

Let’s apply this concept to selling and persuading, something business people frequently have to do. Before you enter into an interaction with a client, co-worker or business associate, psych yourself up for a positive experience. Do a little mental preparation and go into the interaction with extremely positive intentions and expectations ... and do your best to maintain this mental attitude.

According to experts, you have the potential to regulate the other person’s hormones (oxytocin for example, which is the hormone that helps create trust and emotional bonding between humans). In terms of your combined nervous systems, you and the other person are involved in an open-loop process. Do things right, and you can literally become well-connected. Consider it the science of relationship building.

Want to know more? Check out a book titled “A General Theory of Love” by Lewis/Amini/Lannon. Don’t be fooled by the mushy-sounding title. This is a book that any serious business person, especially in sales, should consider reading.

Chris Crouch, author of “Getting More Done” and other books on improving productivity, can be contacted at cc@dmetraining.com.

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