Why did local phone numbers originally have seven digits? The answer is that in the early days of the local telephone service, the researchers found that the seven-digit numbers were about the time that most people could remember without forgetting or making mistakes. (A frequently cited study on the subject of the “seven” is Magic Number Seven, More or Less Two: Some limits on our ability to process information by George A. Miller).
If it is difficult to remember more than seven digits, how many complex concepts can we process and / or follow closely? Even the neurosciences have not come up with a solution, but a New York Times interview with Cristóbal Conde, president and C.E.O. from SunGard, suggests a solution.
People rely a lot on their memory, which is tremendously fallible, but that does not mean that people can absorb a list of 18 things to do. It is much better to concentrate on a few things. Very constructive criticism, and the way we should translate it is that, most of the time things are reduced to three.
Now there may not be enough research to show that three is a kind of fixed limit, like the average number of digits we can hold, but the count of three limit makes a lot of sense. When the amount of things to focus on continues to grow, that focus will eventually be lost.
There is a fascination of the brain for the number 3; it is one of the situations that neuroscience is still delaying in checking theoretically because our mind loves this number; However, thanks to the neuromarketing tools that exist around the world, it has been confirmed that the number 3 is an important sales tool for us, and that it is a factor that influences our consumer when making the decision to purchase.
It is very common to find in the supermarkets gondolas the quantity of products that are exhibited, and what a coincidence that precisely the products that sell the most are at the average height of the gondola, that is to say in the middle, where it is easier to be able to reach the product, that is why companies want to have their products at this height, obviously paying much more than the others.
It is amazing how our mind makes an imaginary cut where it divides the gondolas into three parts, where the parts of the center where we can observe, if need to mobilize our head, is what takes more attention and therefore is what we buy the most.
Then, whenever you have the possibility of being able to offer a product or service, try to give 3 options; What usually happens is that the person chooses the option of the medium, that is, the second, since he will always want to have a balance between the price and quality of the product or service, it is recommended that we put the product that we want to sell the most in the middle. of the options, thus we will obtain the consumer’s choice.
“When we make purchases we prefer to make the decision thanks to our intuition, which makes us see which is the best option, with the least effort.”
I believe that the Rule of Three can be applied not only to performance reviews but also to other business issues. What about the three things I need to complete today? The three main products that need sales attention? The list could go on and on. Now there may not be anything magical in “3”, but it can not be denied that the use of the Rule of Three does not simplify a complex approach or increase the likelihood of achieving those three goals.