The science of Neuro-Associative Conditioning is defined as the “ability to create changes in human emotions and behaviour based upon the premise that there are two determining reasons for human behaviour: The desire to avoid pain and/or the desire to create pleasure.” It is based on the concept of Neuro-Linguistic Programming which fundamentally states that “a person’s experience is not reality but a representation of reality.”
Essentially, Neuro-Associative Conditioning is where the brain is trained to quickly evaluate whether the desire to avoid pain or the desire to create pleasure is the valid response to a certain scenario such as a stressful business meeting. These responses can also be considered Neuro-associations. In other words, Neuro-associations are subconscious relationships created within the human brain connecting two stimuli such as physical, auditory, kinaesthetic, or subliminal stimuli.
However, it stands to reason that, based on the above definition and context, the human brain’s determination of a “valid response” to a scenario is not the best way to respond to the situation. Therefore, it is vital for conditioning of a new response to take place.
And, even though the following point is mentioned throughout this article in one form or another, it is vital to highlight that the human brain must be trained to provide an affirmative response to any situation, irrespective of whether it is negative or positive.
Furthermore, at this juncture, it is vital to note that emotional intelligence (EQ) as defined by Howard Gardner, the influential Harvard theorist, as the “level of your ability to understand other people, what motivates them, and how to work cooperatively with them.”
In other words, self-awareness drives a positive or negative emotional response to work-related scenarios. The good news is that healthy EQ can be learned. Therefore, negative reactions can be converted into positive responses based on the level of self-awareness and the will to increase personal EQ levels.
Additionally, even though the EQ theory does not only apply to the corporate world, the context of this article is related to appropriate responses within the business environment.
Driving business growth and success
Now that we have a keen insight into Neuro-Associative Conditioning, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and Emotional Intelligence, the question that needs to be asked and answered is: “How do these concepts help drive business growth and success?”
The short and simple answer is that it helps business owners, management, and employees respond in a healthier manner to the challenges of thriving in the modern workplace that is fraught with all sorts of unique challenges brought about by the arrival of the twenty-first century.
However, it is worth expanding on this answer to ensure a comprehensive understanding of Neuro-Associative Conditioning, and how it can make a positive contribution to organisational success.
It is all about customer experience
We currently live in a global environment where self-awareness to the point of narcissism is a defining factor in our society. This has both positive and negative consequences, and it elicits both positive and negative behaviours. For example, as highlighted above, a positive degree of self-awareness can lead to EQ growth.
Oppositionally, a negative level of self-awareness leads to self-centeredness and selfishness. This negative response, in turn, can, unfortunately, result in harm to other people and property.
Unfortunately, commercial brands and products also form part of this category. A negative customer experience, as highlighted below, will result in a decline in sales figures. While, on the other hand, positive consumer interactions will result in growing sales figures.
The emphasis on brand marketing has consequently switched from a brand-centric approach to a consumer-centric approach. In other words, what can the brand do to enhance its target audience’s life? If a brand cannot answer this question, consumers will navigate towards the opposition, resulting in reduced sales figures and a shrinking of the brand instead of growth and success.
Finally, the customer support team and the sales staff form a vital part of the brand’s customer experience. It is also a well-documented fact that consumers are not always polite and respectful to employees working in the customer service centre.
And, while it is not pleasant dealing with rude, uncouth customers, staff need to use Neuro-Associative techniques and conditioning to provide a positive response to the negative customer. This will ensure that the customer has a positive experience of the brand and will more than likely convert into a repeat customer.