It is easy to give in to the “fight or flight” instinct promoted by the amygdala – the part of our brain that reacts to events. This instinct struggles against our rational selves(the pre-frontal cortex), with mixed results. Reducing this struggle is important for good leaders. Giving yourself space to notice the reactive emotions is one of the first steps in reducing the struggle. Being able to receive(and give) good feedback is another. Be a part of a small group that shares life. And lastly; don’t take your reactions for granted: ask yourself why you think or feel that way.
- We all possess a rational side, capable of making deliberate and logical decisions and eschewing emotional drama. This side is run by our pre-frontal cortex.
- Unfortunately, we all also possess a highly reactive side, that jumps at the slightest whiff of perceived danger. This side is run by our primitive mid-brain region, known as the amygdala.
- Unfortunately, our primitive self’s idea of danger is often little more than a slight criticism, making our primitive overreaction way too much for today’s modern business world.
“You set aside the first hour of your day to work on a strategy document that you’ve been putting off for a week. You haven’t been disciplined about getting to it, but you’ve had one crisis after another to deal with in the past week.”