What Influences Our Thoughts?

Feb 17, 2021

What influences our Thought Process?


I’m certainly not a neuroscientist, so I’m going to look at this from a very simplistic point of view.


If I asked you how you make the decision whether or not to buy a product or service, what would you reply?




Mix of the two?

Many people do think they make rational buying decisions but if that were true then we would never buy a product or service simply because of how it makes us feel.

We would never be loyal; we would always choose the best deal. We would never care about trust or relationships; we would only evaluate the numbers.


In reality we know that we don’t do that. We do choose one product, service or company over another because of the way it makes us feel.





What is happening in the brain when we are considering our purchase?

Let’s look at this at a very basic level:


The neocortex is part of the human brain where higher cognitive functioning is thought to originate from.


It’s the thinking part of the brain, always trying to understand and make sense of the world.


Then there is the Limbic System which controls our emotions, feelings like trust and loyalty and also decision-making.  However, it has no capacity for language.


We make decisions using our Limbic System and then rationalise that decision with the part of the brain that can communicate with words, the Neocortex.

Basically, we may think we are rational beings when really we’re not.


Thinking Skeleton



“Start with your Why”

Many of you will be familiar with Simon Sinek and his fantastic work “Start with your WHY”


If you consider the functions of the limbic system and the neocortex, then it makes perfect sense.


The middle two sections, the How and Why, of The Golden Circle make up the Limbic Brain, the outer circle the WHAT corresponds to the Neocortex.


If you start with the WHAT  and communicate from the outside-in and people can understand vast amounts of complicated information, like features, benefits, facts and figures but this does not drive human behavior.


If you start with your WHY you communicate from the inside-out and speak directly to the part of the brain that control emotions, behavior and decision-making.


Start with your WHY Golden Circle



So what  does this mean for us?


Buying is an emotional process, when our feelings align with logic then we feel good about the process.


If you want to communicate with potential clients more effectively then you may want to look at the way you articulate your product or service.


Are you appealing to both the rational and emotional part of the brain?