Life-Long Learning: The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon in BNI®
by Joe Ross, U.S. Franchise Development Manager, BNI U.S. Support Team
I recently visited a chapter meeting and watched as everyone did their Weekly Presentation. I couldn’t help but think to myself, I really don’t know when I would have the opportunity to promote some of these businesses.
For example, I met the chapter locksmith. He had great energy, was very professional, and I understood his business. I thought to myself, “How often can I really be of help to him?” Two days later, I received a call from my tenant. She had been in a hurry to leave for work and inadvertently forgot to grab her apartment key on her way out the door. Some months earlier, I too had locked myself out of my house. One of my friends has a spare key, but they were out of town.
Fortunately, I had learned my lesson from my earlier lockout and hid a realtor box with a spare key near my house. I advised my tenant of the box and told her they key was a little sticky as I had just replaced the old locks.
Many of us have shared a similar experience – something you’ve just noticed, learned about, experienced, or been told about is suddenly all around you. In my case, it was the service of a locksmith. I was unsure how I could help pass business to this BNI® member. In truth, I didn’t have to look far to find three recent opportunities where I could have used the assistance of a trusted professional, like the locksmith.
Life-Long Learning, one of our Core Values, reminded me of the Baader-Meinhof (pronounced badder mainhoff) phenomenon. Being exposed to something new prompts our minds selective attention. Suddenly, the previously unconsidered thing you were exposed to now seems to have relevance and appear all around you.
One of my favorite things about BNI® is the brilliance in its simplicity. Our chapter meetings provide the regular opportunity to learn about new people, services and referrals needed by our peers. We then get the opportunity to do what our brains naturally want us to do, make connections. In our case, connecting the people and services of our BNI community to our larger worlds. This, in turn, leads to warm referrals, closed business, and stronger relationships.
I would like to test this phenomenon on you. BNI is looking for exceptional Executive Director candidates in Upland, California. If you know someone that may be a good candidate, please let me know by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you don’t know anyone at the moment, don’t worry, because thanks to the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon and the power of BNI, you may find opportunities and connections in the near future you hadn’t realized were there before.