Stress and Our Overloaded Brains Result in Conflict, Tension and Drama
We live in a highly divisive, argumentative, agitated, and spring-loaded world. Workplace stress is at an all-time high, as is workplace violence and fear. Incidents of rage, verbal abuse, and physical confrontations are increasing at all levels of society, from elementary schools through to boardrooms and community associations and right on through to our national political discourse.
I believe stress and our overloaded brains are two of the underlying causes creating so much conflict, tension, and drama at the human interaction level, both in the workplace and in non-work related interactions. As a result, the tendency is to react to situations, events, and people abruptly and emotionally. As a society, and as human beings, we need to create a new predisposition to pause and then respond instead of react. Remember, our emergency personnel are called First Responders, not First Reactors. If they reacted, instead of responding, in emergency situations the results would be dreadful.
It is not that we have forgotten how to be kind, humane, and just. It simply seems that such attributes are too often considered weaknesses, or easily subdued in favor of clashing, confrontation, rudeness, and a non-collaborative approach to interpersonal interactions.
What kind of world are we creating and leaving for our children and grandchildren?
It is time that individually and collectively we start working harder to change the divisive mindsets, aggressive attitudes, and bad behaviors that are percolating through our communities, schools, and workplaces. We all need to do a better job of responding — rationally, empathetically, and compassionately — to situations, events, and people. Doing so produces better outcomes and fewer regrets, in both our professional and personal lives.
One of the reasons I wrote my latest book, Better Decisions Better Thinking Better Outcomes was to help people learn to cognitively respond, instead of emotionally react, to situations and other people. I hope it arouses a desire in readers to not only find greater peace and solitude in their lives, but to also spread these messages and benefits to others. And I hope it generates an eagerness in leaders to bring the concepts and ideas of this book formally into their own organizations, business units, or work teams, either through the workshops my associates and I deliver or through their own enthusiastic practices and behaviors.
Together we can make your organizations less stressful, more engaging, more productive, and happier places to work. Now, wouldn’t that be a wonderful outcome for you and your fellow colleagues and team members?
This article is partially excerpted from my recent book Better Decisions Better Thinking Better Outcomes:How to go from Mind Full to Mindful Leadership. It is available on Amazon in both paperback ($18.88) and Kindle ($7.88).