Beware of Limbic Thinking!

How does the stressed mind think?  Relax and give this a moment’s contemplation.

You are programmed to deal with emergencies in a remarkably efficient way; using the minimum of precious mental resources and at maximum speed.  Your life depends on it.  That’s what evolution has provided you with – an amazing ability to get out of trouble and to survive.

Now apply the same mental processes to complex, subtle and sophisticated problems.  Hike up the emotional component at the same time and the temptation is jump to conclusions, to take short-cuts in your thinking and to crave certainty.   Confusing emotion for thought is never a good idea.

Look at the Tory leadership contest and consider Brexit.  Makes you anxious doesn’t it?  Are we going to get the right person?  Are we going to get this sorted?  Is this uncertainty ever going to end?

Now think about leadership.  Maybe one of those PMs-in-waiting … maybe your own challenges as a leader?  Press the pause button, calm your breathing, still the mind and turn down the volume of your limbic “inner chimp”. Engage rational thought and …

… ask for the evidence. 

Is this real?  Does the data support the argument or am I risking being hi-jacked by a part of my brain that’s not cut out for this thinking task?

Or – get some help.  Clear some space. Get some coaching! 

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