Life is an ongoing unfolding process. Inside of the process people have certain ways of behaving that make up significant behaviours or parts of their lives, lets call these behaviours routines. All people have routines . For instance, going to work, making a cup of tea in the morning, making breakfast for their children or calling their parents on a certain night of the week.
Routines are like regularly walked pathways on a nature trail, they are like familiar and well travelled routes to a place of work, they are like the way some people always put the sock on their right foot first.
When a routine is very familiar this is akin to a very ‘strong’ set of neural memory or behavioural templates. The more familiar a behaviour is the stronger the neural memory template is. The stronger the memory templates are the less conscious attention is required to carry out a specific behaviour.
Memory templates are composed of hundreds of thousands of neurones and are connected together by their axons in the brain. The more often some specific behaviour, through repetition is done, the stronger the connections between neurones. Repetition creates and then reinforces neural memory templates. So a memory or behavioural template is a result of the many repetitions of some behaviour. Complex behaviours, like making a cup of tea will have many memory templates associated with it.
Learning a behavioural response is not just about repetition though this does play a huge role. Really effective learning and assimilation goes hand in hand with the emotional state that you are learning in. Research shows that the best states to learn in are ones where you are really committed to learning. States where there is not too much stress, when you are happy and laughing and when there is plenty of love and support; as well as lots of repetition.
The next part of this article will offer perspectives on how this relates to client expectations and managing them.