Is your thinking twisted? Part I

Is twisted thinking keeping you from selling…?

The Feeling Good Handbook by David D. Burns, M.D. describes a type of treatment for depression called cognitive behavioral therapy. The word cognition means thought and this book is a common sense look at changing the way people think and thus changing their behavior.

In The Feeling Good Handbook Dr. Burns lists The Ten Forms of Twisted Thinking that occur when people are depressed. These ten forms also exist when people are not depressed and they exist within many, many sales professionals. If you use any of these twisted forms (and most of us do in one way or another) it will negatively impact your sales. I am listing the first 5 so that you can judge for yourself.  The next newsletter will contain the final 5 forms of Twisted Thinking. The following list of Twisted Thinking is paraphrased from The Feeling Good Handbook by David D. Burns, M.D.

1 – All-or-nothing thinking

Everything is black or white. If a situation falls short of perfect, then it’s a total failure. An example of all-or-nothing thinking is a dieter who has one cookie and then proceeds to eat the entire bag since they’ve already blown their diet. Another example would be if you do not have time to make 100 dials/day you then make no dials at all.

2 – Overgeneralization

Seeing a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat. If you overgeneralize you use words such as always or never. For example, prospecting never works for me. Prospects always reject me.

3 – Mental filter

Picking out a single negative detail and dwelling on it to the exclusion of everything else. An example: You receive many compliments from your associates about your presentation. If, however, you receive even one mildly critical comment you obsess about it and forget about all of the positive comments.

4 – Discounting the positive

You reject positive experiences by insisting they don’t count. If you do a good job, you may tell yourself that it wasn’t good enough or that anyone could have done as well.

5 – Jumping to conclusions

You interpret things negatively when there are no facts to support your conclusion. There are two categories here:

Mind reading: You conclude that someone is reacting negatively to you with no evidence to back that up. For example, your prospect says they cannot speak with you because they are busy and you think, “They are not interested.”

Fortune telling: You predict that things will turn out badly. Before a prospecting call you tell yourself, “They’re not interested” or “They’ll probably say no.”

Stay tuned for the next 5 forms of Twisted Thinking

Share This Post