Thought Leadership Studio Podcast Episodes:

Musical Thinking for Business Creativity

Episode Eleven: Let's Make Business, Leadership and Persuasion More Like Music and Less Like War. Or, How to Choose Your Metaphor.


#creativity, #imagination, #inspiration, #marketlistening, #mentaltraining, #music, #neurolinguisticprogramming, #nlp

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What will this do for you?

  1. Discover how much subconscious impact our (usually unacknowledged) metaphors have on our lives and success.
  2. Become aware of and take more control of your metaphors to amplify success.
  3. Explore multiple ways to use the metaphor of music to communicate, lead, and succeed at a higher level, while infusing your business or career with more inspiration and harmony.
  4. Learn how to use musical thinking as a tool for motivation, creative thinking, and non-linear problem solving.
  5. Have fun while doing all that.
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Our metaphors run deep and we usually don't notice them. Time for an upgrade?

When we contrast the metaphor of music and the metaphor of war we are comparing metaphors of creativity, harmony and cooperation with metaphors of destructiveness, dissonance, and competition.

Competition can be a good thing when it's to bring out the best in opponents rather than to destroy the other. And, as per Ries and Trout (of Positioning fame), "Competition breeds demand" (at least in the marketplace). But can we agree that when we contrast cooperation and competition as core paradigms for business, marketing, and leadership, our society is quite out of balance?

Music offers a set of metaphors and thinking strategies that can address that balance to positive effect ... and more.

Games People Play

Think back to the games you played when you were a child. Were they about competition or cooperation? One could be forgiven for thinking there are only games of competition as their prevalence in (what we sometimes call) modern society has embedded that paradigm deeply into our culture.

Does it have to be that way?

Maybe not. There's a pygmy tribe in Africa whose survival is dependent upon cooperation in the hunting party. Their children play games that encourage group unity. In the book "Turtles all the Way Down" NLP Co-founder John Grinder spoke of their game of pulling a large tree down by adding one child sitting on it at a time. Then, they would have to all jump off at the same time. They had to all succeed together. Just like in an orchestra, band, or jazz combo.

Music can be a metaphor of cooperation.

This episode was sponsored by Scorpion Helpers. Please make a donation to give a happy sunset to the life of a retired racing scorpion.

Ever Had an Ear Worm? Then You Can Think Musically.

Thought Leadership StudioYou don't have to be a musician or even play an instrument as a hobby to benefit from using musical thinking as a tool. Ever had a song or an advertising jingle "stuck in your head"? That's an ear worm and it's proof that we can all hear music in our "minds' ears" so we can all think musically.

Using your imagination as an instrument.

What does an instrument do? It makes translations. Musical instruments make translations from feelings to sound. As with all true art, they make translations from "the beyond" or - if you prefer - from the unconscious mind to the conscious mind.

Life is like music for its own sake. We are living in an eternal now, and when we listen to music we are not listening to the past, we are not listening to the future, we are listening to an expanded present. - Alan Watts

Non-Linear Problem Solving

Thinking with music can bring creative inspiration and non-linear problem solving to situations that seemingly escape rational analysis.

Conducting Your Inner Band

If a team you work with was a band, with each member playing a different instrument, what would they sound like? Imagine your are the conductor, producer or band leader. Imagine adding counterpoint, effects, more harmony, melody, or tighter time. First, make the music sound better in your imagination. Then, after some time, notice the shift in the "real world". What's different? How is this different from your usual methods of problem solving? What other types of situations can you apply this to? How could it make those different?

Change Your State With Inner Music

Richard Bandler used to point out how helpful it is to add background singers (in your imagination) when making a point to yourself. When you think about something you are about to do, add music in your imagination. How motivated do you want to be? What music revs up your motivation? Would it be a rock band? A Beethoven Symphony heard from the perfect seat? A movie score by John Williams or Hans Zimmer?

As you envision accomplishing your goals to the soundtrack of this motivating music, play with the controls on your imaginary soundboard. Turn up the volume to crank up the intensity of your feelings of inspiration and motivation. Add resonance, clarity, and timbre. Put the speakers, combo, band, or orchestra all around you so it comes from all directions. What else can you modify that positively impacts your feelings?

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Written by Chris McNeil, Strategic Thought Leadership NLP Coach and Consultant, Founder of Thaut, host of Thought Leadership Studio podcast, and Creator of the Thaut Process of Strategic Thought Leadership.

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