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The Bad Thing Your Brain Might Do When You Meet Someone New

When you first glimpse someone (or something) new your brain reacts instantly, but you knew that. What’s destructive is that when you instinctively feel danger – or simply irritation –  you respond quicker, longer and more intensely than if you feel safe or another positive emotion.

Your negative reaction to “the new” affects you much more than a positive response. Knowing that you can understand the power of choosing how to respond to what you don’t like – and the need to practice making that choice. You may set in motion a spiral up of negative reactions between you and the other person until you both get stuck against each other. 

That’s one reason why the carrot and stick approach to rewarding and penalizing employees, family members or friends actually harms relationships and collective performance. So suggests Dave Rock in Your Brain at Work and Dan Pink at the TED conference and in his forthcoming book, Drive: The Surprizing Truth About What Motivates Us.  

Keep cool while under fire

The most effective way to avoid being the victim of one’s reactions to stress-appearing

event, suggests Jeffrey Schwartz, co-author of The Mind and the Brain, is to establish regular routines in which you watch the patterns of your thoughts and feelings to become more self-aware in the moment.  Schwartz believes that the collective practice of such mindfulness is the only way an organization can change.

And collaborationis difficult, ironically, because without self-awareness we can’t see beyond ourselves.

That’s why mindfulness can also be a powerful bonding practice, as well, for a family or circle of friends to collectively adopt. 

Don’t let somebody else determine your behavior

The more mindful you are the more aware you become of your unconscious processes. That way you have more cognitive control, found Kirk Brown, meaning you have a greater ability to shape what you do and what say, than people lower on the mindfulness scale.

Hint: We tend to like people who act like they like us.   

Here’s six steps to living in the moment from Jay Dixit. 

One of the most pleasurable ways to practice staying in the moment is doing something playful or creative like dancing – with others. 

 

Categories: behavior, collaboration, Conflict, Friendship, Learning and tagged , , , , , , , .
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4 Comments

  1. Michael Yanakiev
    Posted November 2, 2009 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    When we consider these traits and a host of others we haven’t discussed, acting in combination, is it any wonder that we humans, as Alexander Pope observed over two centuries ago, are prone to err? We view the world through a dense veil of burdensome, though – warping emotions, biases, and mind – sets. Through this veil we sometimes perceive cause –and –effect and other “patterns” where there are none. We are prone to grace
    these nonexistent patterns with self – satisfying explanations into rock hard beliefs that we defend in the face of incontrovertible contradictory evidence.
    Ladies and gentlemen, sharing the pleasure of your company…….Homo sapiens !

  2. Michael Yanakiev
    Posted November 2, 2009 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    When we consider these traits and a host of others we haven’t discussed, acting in combination, is it any wonder that we humans, as Alexander Pope observed over two centuries ago, are prone to err? We view the world through a dense veil of burdensome, though – warping emotions, biases, and mind – sets. Through this veil we sometimes perceive cause –and –effect and other “patterns” where there are none. We are prone to grace
    these nonexistent patterns with self – satisfying explanations into rock hard beliefs that we defend in the face of incontrovertible contradictory evidence.
    Ladies and gentlemen, sharing the pleasure of your company…….Homo sapiens !

  3. Michael Yanakiev
    Posted November 2, 2009 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    When we consider these traits and a host of others we haven’t discussed, acting in combination, is it any wonder that we humans, as Alexander Pope observed over two centuries ago, are prone to err? We view the world through a dense veil of burdensome, though – warping emotions, biases, and mind – sets. Through this veil we sometimes perceive cause –and –effect and other “patterns” where there are none. We are prone to grace
    these nonexistent patterns with self – satisfying explanations into rock hard beliefs that we defend in the face of incontrovertible contradictory evidence.
    Ladies and gentlemen, sharing the pleasure of your company…….Homo sapiens !

  4. Posted January 7, 2010 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    Very interesting. Simply by anecdotal observations this is very true in my case. I can have 10 successes in a row and 1 defeat. That defeat will drown out all of the euphoria of my when really it should be a simple speed bump in my progression.

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