Why You Should Think Like The B.A.U.

My favorite show on TV is Criminal Minds, which is far from just another show on law enforcement. FBI agents in the Behavioral Analysis Unit (B.A.U.) profile suspected serial killers and hardened criminals in order to solve difficult cases. By reading clues at the crime scene and studying an unsub’s (perpetrator’s) life, the team can learn to think like the criminal to catch him (or her). You’re probably thinking, ‘What’s this have to do with me?’

Criminal Minds

 When you bring on a new client, you probably ask them lots of questions. Some of these questions may not have answers, which could be why you’re there. But your goal is to understand your client as much as possible — his target audience(s), the essence of what he provides, why he does what he does and how he stands out from his competitors. In essence, you’re profiling him to capture who he is and how you can best help him.

I realize that profiling has received a bad rap in some circles lately. However, it’s important to realize what it is — and isn’t. Profiling isn’t about perpetuating stereotypes. Behavioral profiling can help us better understand people, and why they do what they do. Could it possibly be dangerous if put in the wrong person’s hands? Sure, but most things are. That’s why it’s important to learn to use it correctly.

One of my favorite classes in college was Consumer Behavior, which dissects consumers’ purchasing decisions and how they come to those decisions. There’s more science involved than you may think. From people’s personality types to how grocery stores stock their shelves, we’re constantly adding to our knowledge base on people’s behavior and how it affects the world we live in.

“Don’t forget that I cannot see myself — that my role is limited to being the one who looks in the mirror.” -Jacques Rigaut // quoted by Jason Gideon on Criminal Minds

Join the Discussion

Is behavioral profiling helpful in any environment?

Do you use it with your clients or customers?

Who’s your favorite profiler on Criminal Minds?

Picture credit: CBS, home of Criminal Minds


Marketing, writing, social media –> Join our conversation! 
Facebook logo Twitter logo Instagram logo Pinterest logo LinkedIn logo

Blink: The Power of Snap Decisions & First Impressions

“On straightforward choices, deliberate analysis is best. When questions of analysis and personal choice start to get complicated — when we have to juggle many different variables — then our unconscious thought processes may be superior.” –Malcolm Gladwell

Do you agree? Or do you think the opposite is true?

This quote is pulled from Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell, a book that takes you deep into the unconscious and explores the power of thinking without thinking (i.e. thin-slicing, snap decisions and first impressions). It’s amazing how powerful (and correct) our snap judgments can be although it is easy for them to become flawed by a number of factors. As Gladwell notes, “From experience, we gain a powerful gift, the ability to act instinctively, in the moment. But… it is easy to disrupt this gift.”


Discover example after example of people using thin-slicing to make impressive quick decisions in the face of pressure, and learn how we can practice these abilities to improve them, just like anything else.

What’s remarkable to me is the wide range of people, places and events represented in this book — inner city detectives, Civil War generals, marriage counselors, musicians who defy genre. I love psychology and learning about the powers of the mind, but even if you don’t, this book can help you in your life and career by helping you make better decisions.

At the end of this intriguing read, Gladwell leaves us with this final thought.

“This is the real lesson of Blink: It is not enough simply to explore the hidden recesses of our unconscious. Once we know about how the mind works — and about the strengths and weaknesses of human judgment — it is our responsibility to act.”

Have you read this book? What did you think?

What other books would you highly recommend?

Blink cover courtesy of Gladwell.com

Your favorite bookworm,

Don’t blink! Join the conversation…
Facebook logo
  Google+ branding  Twitter bird icon  Instagram  Pinterest logo  YouTube  LinkedIn_Logo60px