Our brains evolved over thousands of years, and are constantly attuned, usually at a subconscious level, to the possibility of danger and serve an important role. Trying to protect us.
However, when our brains threat responses are on high alert, we cannot think creatively, work well with others, or make informed decisions. Our health and well-being is also negatively impacted. By understanding how our brains actually work, it deepens our self-awareness, and we can begin to understand, and have more compassion, toward others.
I incorporate the teaching of neuroscience into my work. In Thoughts Matter, for example, participants examine their thought patterns, and their brains fearful reactions, in a variety of contexts. This increased awareness enables them to choose less stressful responses and behave in ways that cultivate well-being. This is individual work.
However, if you are a leader, your sentences and gestures are noticed and interpreted, magnified and given meanings you may never have intended. By understanding and acting upon neuroscience discoveries, you can enhance your own and your employees well-being. There are common scenarios at work that cause employees to feel threatened, and some things you can do to minimize the likelihood of triggering a? Threat response. In others.
Trigger #1: Being micromanaged (or the perception of) can easily generate a threat response. When an employee experiences a lack of control, perception of uncertainty is also aroused, and stress increases. The perception of greater autonomy increases the feeling of certainty and reduces stress, as long as people feel they can execute their own decisions without much over- sight, stress remains under control.
Things you can do: Allow employees to make choices and support their capacity for choice. Present them with options, or allow them to organize their own work and set their own hours. Studies show the choices themselves are insignificant; it is the perception that matters. People often leave corporate jobs and become self-employed to achieve work? Life balance. They actually work longer hours (often for less money) yet they perceive themselves to have a better work? Life balance because they make their own choices.