Have you ever gone into the meeting and come out afterwards and said, “What happened, that’s not what I planned”.
Or perhaps, you were having a nice evening at home and all of a sudden you and your beloved are having a fight and you ask yourself “WTF?”
Or there is that employee with promise, whom you want to provide with some feedback so they can live up to that promise and all of a sudden you both are defensive.
What happened was your amygdala, some call it the lizard brain, was triggered by something that made you or the other feel the need to fight or to run. The brain released a flood of chemicals and hormones to help power a fight or flight. It diverted blood from your organs to your limbs and as a result you had reduced capacity for empathy, listening and reflection. You were primed to react.
Then each little thing and I mean little thing could set you or the other party off. I am constantly apologizing to my beloved for my “tone.” If I am distracted and focused on an article or my writing and she asks me something, I can sometimes be curt. And that tone; that’s right not what I say but how I say it can raise the dragon.
Or how often have you been in a meeting and someone dismissed your idea, or mocked your idea. What happened in your body? Did it flush? Did your face get warm? Did you react and contribute to the rest of the meeting from your very best ideas?
There is a lot of new research coming to light that demonstrates the impact that our communications with our selves and each other has on our bodies, our brains and on the bodies and brains of each other. You have heard of toxic communications. Well it is real. The toxins released by poor communications not only affect your performance and the way you move through the world but actually will impact the health and well being of yourself and your people.
Stand by in Part 2 I will share some things we can do to Dance with the Dragon and manage and mitigate our response to this little reptilian brain. In the meantime pay attention to your physical feelings in your important communications. They are a clue to your reptilian response.