What Every Christian Leader Needs to Know About Perception

(Unsplash/Brendan Church)

As a speaker and writer, I'm becoming more and more fascinated with the concept of "perception." After all, in today's distracted and disrupted world, our perception of everything happens faster and faster. In fact, one study indicates that when we meet someone for the first time, we actually decide within the first four to eight seconds what we think of that person. Now, scientists are looking at how quickly we make decisions, and a particular project focused on discovering how our brains combine sensory impressions with memory and emotion to form judgments.

The Wall Street Journal reported recently that "Researchers from the University of Houston recorded the electrical brain activity from 431 gallery visitors last year as they explored an exhibit of works by conceptual artist Dario Robleto at the Menil Collection, near downtown Houston. In the low-voltage sizzle of so much neural buzz, the scientists are trying to find how our brains mix sensory impressions of color, texture and shape with memory, meaning and emotion into an aesthetic judgment of artworks that, at their best, can be both universal and intensely personal."

The results were remarkable. As writer Robert Lee Hotz described, "As an art critic, the brain is quick to judge. Shown an artwork for the first time, be it a landscape painting, a portrait or an abstract rendering of almost any style, people usually make a snap judgment of its aesthetic appeal. Brain-wave recordings suggest that the neural calculation takes 200 to 330 milliseconds, about as long as a photo flash."

This suggests why, when you see creative work, you know right away whether you like it or not.

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

What's the implication?  I think it's huge, and impacts so many areas of our lives. From a job interview, to the production of TV programs or movies, to corporate meetings, advertising or sharing your faith, that initial perception can make or break everything.

In other words, more and more research suggests that no matter how great your message, brilliant your project, or insightful your pitch, unless you can hook them in the first initial seconds, you've failed.

Make an impact and make it quick seems to be the mantra of the fragmented, hyper-competitive world we live in today.

How could that apply to the particular challenges you're facing?

An internationally known writer and speaker, Phil Cooke has produced media programming in nearly 50 countries around the world.

This article originally appeared at philcooke.com.

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing stories, teachings, and conversations with guests who lead with love on Love Leads, a new podcast. Listen now.

Dr. Mark Rutland's

National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)

The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. taught by Dr. Mark Rutland. If you're the type of leader that likes to have total control over every aspect of your ministry and your future success, the NICL is right for you!

FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.

Do you feel stuck? Do you feel like you’re not growing? Do you need help from an expert in leadership? There is no other leadership training like the NICL. Gain the leadership skills and confidence you need to lead your church, business or ministry. Get ready to accomplish all of your God-given dreams. CLICK HERE for NICL training dates and details.

The NICL Online is an option for any leader with time or schedule constraints. It's also for leaders who want to expedite their training to receive advanced standing for Master Level credit hours. Work through Dr. Rutland's full training from the comfort of your home or ministry at your pace. Learn more about NICL Online. Learn more about NICL Online.

Charisma Leader — Serving and empowering church leaders