According to the book "Pitch Anything" by Oren Klaff, he writes, based on the research done in neuroscience, our brains process information using three parts in the following order: reptilian brain, mammalian brain and primate brain. Klaff explains in the blog "Getting Through to Your Buyers' Crocodile Brains—An Interview with Oren Klaff" that, "When you make a pitch to someone, you develop that pitch and you communicate it or send it from your neocortex—from the smart part of your brain. The problem is it isn't received first in the other person's neocortex. You're not communicating from the smart brain to the smart brain. You're communicating from smart brain to the crocodile brain. It has to get through that defensive, keep me alive part of the brain first before it gets up to the other person's neocortex."
How the brain processes what you are communicating
The reptilian brain (amygdala) makes the fight or flight decision for survival. Think of it as an on and off switch. It also makes a decision whether what you are communicating is boring or interesting. If it finds it as boring, then it stops processing information further and it is hard to get it to focus again. Essentially it has shut down receiving more information; communication becomes one way at this point. You have failed.
Assuming that the other person finds what you are saying interesting, then the mammalian brain (midbrain) takes over. This is the part of the brain that simply asks the "Joy Behar" question that I wrote about in my blog "Can Your Ideas Pass the 'Joy Behar' Test," asking, so what? who cares? You also have to pass this test. If not, then you will fail here.
This is how communication flows and unless you understand this it's hard to connect, engage and converse. The person is likely to ask insightful questions since you are making the other person think. However, if the person does something else then you have failed and it is better to stop and come back later since you did not get through to the neocortex. There is no point trying to keep banging since the door has been pad locked and you are going to have to fidn the keys and try again.
The approach that seems to follow this line of communication is what I like to refer to as 8-3-180 approach. What this is that you have to go through the brain in the way it let's you in like the opening credits of "Get Smart" TV show. To get an idea of how you can do this, suppose you are trying to convince someone why it is hard for someone laid off to get a job. You can go into details, but it will not work, so I have shown below how you can do it using the 8-30-180 seconds approach.
Get this main point across so you are just giving the main idea.
Why are people who are good at doing a job are bad at getting a job?
If you sense that the person is interested then give more info with little more details but not too much.
The reason for this is that skills are not the same.
The skills professionals have developed such as technical, collaborative, decision-making, leadership and getting things done are not sufficient to get them a new job; they need skills such as marketing, sales, negotiation, communication and presence that are essential in getting a new job in this highly competitive job market.
If the other person is engaged at the neocortex, then only you go into more details, but again you want to do it in 180 seconds. That should be enough. If the person wants more, then again go through this iteration on each point you are going to make.
One of the biggest problem that people face right after they lose their jobs is that they are like fish out of the water. The reason for this is that the skills that made them so good at doing their jobs are not that useful when it comes to getting a job. To differentiate yourself from other outstanding candidates you have to focus on these seven questions. In a sense, getting a job is really a proxy for doing a job; therefore, you have to be a pro at getting a job.
1) Do you understand the job? - Work
You have to show the employer that you really understand the job they want done; you have to show clearly that you understand their problem so you can define the problem just as well, if not better than the interviewers. If you can't do this then it is hard to succeed.
2) Can you do the job profitably? - Company
You have to show that you can't just solve the problem but it is done efficiently so that it saves money, makes money or both.
3) Are you easy to work with? - Team
You are not hired to be left alone. You are going to have to work with other members. Do you make the team stronger or weaker?
4) Are you going to make your boss look good? -- Boss
The boss who is going to hire you cares about one thing: Are you going to make him look good to his boss? If you do, then his profile increases, he is viewed as a good leader and considered for a promotion.
5) What makes you different from others?
You just not only do the job, but do it for a metric that matters above all. You will not waste time, resources and energy of the company, team and you.
6) Why should you get the job?
You will help make the company profits, make the team stronger and enhance your the boss's profile.
7) Do you want the job?
Yes, you are excited to get to work immediately to help the company, team and boss and be the best team player on the team.
Communication is not just what you say, but how you say it in a way that makes it easier for our brains to receive it, makes sense of it and analyze it. If you are not doing it using something like 8-30-180 way, then you are likely to waste time talking since you will fail to connect. This is what study in neuroscience shows, so make sure you have the keys to open all the doors of the locks in the brain if you want to be understood ans succeed in communicating with others.