As the global financial pressures grow and businesses in Australia really start to feel the threat, how do our leaders and their people respond under this real stress? And what can we learn from neuroscience that will assist?
We know from Dr. David Rock and others’ research that neurologically a number of things occur. In response to threat:
- The desire to move away from threat is many times stronger than the desire to move towards a positive or rewarding situation.
- Attention is magnified and easily triggers the fight-flight response.
When this happens, our field of view, creativity, listening, memory, insight and decision-making all reduce under the “pressure of now”. We actually see less information even though we think we are seeing more. Under stress (threat) the noise around us increases which splits and diverts our focus and thinking, causing us to respond by multitasking in an endeavour to reduce the threat.
So what can a leader do? Dr. Trisha Stratford from the Department of Medial and Molecular Biosciences, University of Technology, Sydney, has some simple and practical solutions.
- It’s a myth that anyone can multitask well. Our brain cannot. So FOCUS ON DOING ONE THING AT A TIME. Prioritisation, sequencing and timing become the keys to reducing stress.
- Stop and slow down your thinking 3-4 times a day. That’s it, nothing complex. Find those 10- to 15-minute spaces across your day to attend to your thinking and slow it down. What happens? Increased focus and clarity.
Try it and let us know the result.
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