Eoin Travers at the University of London’s School of Advanced Study tested the differences in how well we function while in the perception state of total awareness and compared this with when we are in an ‘unconsciously aware’ state. He tested volunteer’s ability to deal with incorrect cues that required the person to think about what was happening in their surroundings before deciding on a course of action. He found that while people were ‘unconsciously aware’ they usually took the wrong course of action 88% of the time. Travers discovered that volunteers could not adapt to the situation and took longer to act than if they were totally aware.
In contrast, he found that those who were consciously aware quickly learned when to disregard incorrect cues and decide on an effective course of action. Furthermore, as the test was repeated volunteers learnt from their experience and continued to improve their decision making ability.
What does all this mean? When carrying out a repetitive activity that has been mastered like riding a bicycle you can do it without being consciously aware of cycling in the same way as you had to be when learning. However, when new circumstances come about you will likely make the wrong decision and take longer to react while being in an ‘unconsciously aware’ state of perception. Although I successfully arrived at my destination, I could have made a number of driving errors that others around me had to act to avoid causing an accident. I didn’t perceive that I did anything out of the ordinary, or that anything out of the ordinary occurred on the journey. In future, I shall make sure that I am fully consciously aware before I get behind the wheel and drive.
In light of this research, you need to ensure the people in your business are engaged at all times to remain safe. Consider your workplace and how you;
Note: Google chrome users will need to install the RSS extension
Michael posts on topics relating to organisational growth and excellence
Sign up below to receive my future posts and offers