How the Brain’s Mirror Neuron System Can Impact Your Sales Success

By Emily Harman, GMARKU Ambassador. Based on the work of Positive Intelligence®

In a recent blog, Stephanie Geiger wrote that personalizing engagements is key to increasing sales within the public sector. Taking this a step further, I invite you to consider how the brain’s mirror neuron system can impact these personalized engagements.

In his New York Times best selling book, Positive Intelligence, Shirzad Chamine explains that the discovery of the mirror neuron system in the brain is one of the most exciting discoveries of neuroscience in recent years. Mirror neurons are a type of sensory-motor cell in our brain. These neurons “mirror” the actions of others.

Bill Carmody and I discussed the mirror neuron effect and more on my Onward Live episode entitled Applying Mental Fitness to your Relationships. Bill is a TEDx speaker and a Top 100 sales influencer with over 25 years of marketing experience. He’s founded and successfully exited two highly profitable and award-winning multi-million dollar marketing agencies.

Shirzad Chamine, creator of the Positive Intelligence® Program, and his team, performed research with over one million people from around the world and discovered there are 10 ways people self sabotage their wellbeing and effectiveness. He calls these the 10 Saboteurs.

Saboteurs are the voices in your head that generate negative emotions in the way you handle life’s everyday challenges. They represent automated patterns in your mind for how to think, feel, and respond. They cause all of your stress, anxiety, self-doubt, frustration, restlessness, and unhappiness. They sabotage your performance, wellbeing, and relationships. Imagine how these Saboteurs can impact your personalized engagements in the public sector.

I introduced the Judge Saboteur in my 10 January 2022 blog. The Judge is the universal Saboteur that afflicts everyone. The Judge typically activates one or more of your accomplice Saboteurs. Perhaps you’ll recognize some of them: Avoider, Stickler, Hyper-Rational, Hyper-Vigilant, Victim, Controller, Pleaser, Restless, and Hyper-Achiever.

Below is a chart depicting some of the ways these Saboteurs can impact your personalized engagements with the public sector.

Sales Skill Saboteurs

Advances in neuroscience, along with breakthrough research in organizational science and positive psychology, validate the principles of Positive Intelligence with high-performing sales teams.

Your Positive Intelligence Quotient (PQ) is a measure of your Mental Fitness, or the strength of your positive mental muscles (Sage) versus the negative (Saboteur). It’s an indication of the control you have over your own mind. A high PQ means your mind serves you more than sabotages you.

Multiple studies demonstrate that salespeople with higher PQ outsell those with lower PQ by 37%. PQ powered Mental Fitness is a breakthrough for sales effectiveness because it targets root level brain activation and mindset.

By developing the 3 Core Mental Fitness Muscles, brain activation will shift to weaken Saboteurs and boost Sage increasing sales performance, overall happiness, and feelings of general well-being. Strengthening your Mental Fitness will enable you to consciously employ your brain’s mirror neuron system to increase your probability of sales success.

The PQ Coaching Program builds resilience, optimism, and empathy in sales teams — not through theory or insight, but by building mental muscle that increases both sales performance and team happiness.

I invite you to check out the PQ Powered Sales Team Program based on Mental Fitness Training and Positive Intelligence at

NOTE: Much of the material in this blog comes from Shirzad Chamine’s author New York Times bestselling book Positive Intelligence and the extensive PQ coach training I’ve received from Shirzad Chamine.