How great are you at harnessing your brain power under stress? Are you preventing or controlling the ‘Amygdala Hijack’? The brain is an amazing organ, but it does have its own struggles from time to time.
For example, the daily tussle that the ‘emotional’ amygdala has with the ‘logical thinking’ frontal lobe. When confronted with a difficult situation, the amygdala can kick in with its ‘fight, flight or freeze’ behaviours.
In fact, there are some good news: Before we end up with a black eye, those with higher emotional intelligence seem to be able to kick in the frontal lobe and soothe the situation with a more proactive, rational approach to working through the challenge.
Would others see you Red or Blue?
As those people who have participated in the Bridgeworks process know, one of the languages I refer to is “Red & Blue Behaviour”; “Red” being the more defensive, “victim” behaviours and “Blue” referring to more proactive, victor behaviour.
Managing Red and Blue behaviours is all about preventing the “Amygdala Hijack” for a much better outcome.
The amygdala drives much of our defensive fight or flight responses.
This was useful to early humans. They regularly experienced real, immediate physical threats. Today, that’s not the case.
Does your Amygdala rule your world?
The modern world is full of stress, but it is often caused by reactions to events, like natural disasters and strife, or even work, traffic, and arguments with family.
Today the amygdala still responds to this stress as if it were a physical threat. However, you can prevent this “amygdala hijack”. Indeed, you can gain control over your brain’s irrational emotional reactions.
Using Brain Power to Build Effective Leadership
The frontal lobe is driven more by a more careful, rational analysis of the situation. I would summarise that behaviour as “BLUE”, constructive, thoughtful, wanting the best outcome or Win-Win.
This approach, I believe defines good leadership.
You can gain control over your brain’s irrational emotional reactions. Such a control comes from slowing down, taking deep breaths, and refocusing your thoughts. These steps allow your brain’s frontal lobes to take over for the irrational amygdala.
The process of helping people understand the extent and impact of their RED and BLUE behaviours has been pivotal to the Bridgeworks process. For many, the results are life changing, both in their working life and the personal life.
If you are wanting to explore further how RED and BLUE behaviour is impacting either your leadership or team effectiveness, let’s talk!
Wayne Dyson – 0402 300999
PS: If you are curious about the details of the amygdala’s automatic response to stress, you can check this article in Healthline September 2021