[Guest blog article written by colleague Judith Glaser, December 2015]
Leverage the power of neuroscience to create coaching conversations that change the world. Secure your spot for Judith’s upcoming Complimentary Conversational Intelligence Immersion Training happening this November. Secure your spot now.
Are Your I-Centric Habit Patterns Getting the Best of You?
We live in a world of moving targets. Once we get into routines we feel comfortable, and from comfort comes confidence. Yet in a world of moving targets, we need to be open to change. One change you can make is to shift your thinking from a focus on fear to a focus on optimism.
Inevitably, you encounter many changes in our work life—changes that require energy, focus, and commitment. Some changes throw you into I-centric response as you will feel you need to protect what you have and prevent loss. Some changes inevitably lead to defensiveness as you try to hold on to what you have created.
Sometimes we don’t change because change means taking risks. We don’t like to fail, and we protect ourselves from looking bad. Not changing feels like a familiar haven that protects us. It makes us feel smart because we repeat what we know and we think we know it all. As we perpetuate the illusions, we fail to realize—precisely because it all feels so safe and reassuring—that we are trapped by our comfortable assumption as to what constitutes safety and success.
How We Feed Our I-Centric Habits
Neuroscience teaches us that when we get caught in an Addicted to Being Right habit pattern it’s hard to change because our brain produces high levels of dopamine—a reward neurotransmitter that reinforces our desire to repeat that pattern. While this addictive I-centric pattern makes you feel powerful and drives you to crave more of it, this power-over pattern can also push you away from others who find your addiction egoistic and arrogant.
I-centric thinking is based on a scarcity power-over mindset—thinking that suggests that sharing power with others is a sign of weakness; talking about feelings is soft; pleasing the boss is more important than pleasing the customer; telling people what to do is the same as communicating; telling people what to do will make them line up behind your vision; being the authority and having all the answers are the most important parts of leadership; telling people what you want over and over again gets your message across (when you are broadcasting “those idiots don’t get it!”); there is nothing you can do about territoriality (and so you do nothing about it); your job as a leader is to change others and get them to buy-in; it’s a weakness to say, “I made a mistake”; and winning means, “I win, they lose.”
What Fuels Our Engagement? Protect or Connect?
The Addiction to Being Right pattern is built on the fear of being wrong! So you fight for your point of view, needing to win at all costs. When you perceive the world through a lens of fear, your ego drives you into habit patterns of protection, and you unconsciously incorporate defensive behaviour patterns into your daily routines. You tend to turn away from others when coming from protective behaviours, rather than turning to others for help in making vital changes.
Part of our brain is designed for protection; other parts are designed for connection.
Inside the limbic brain is the amygdala, a small organ that senses threats, helping protect our turf. The primary role of the amygdala, the emotional core of the brain, is triggering the fear response, which it does through a series of changes in brain chemistry and hormones that put the body in a state of anxiety. The limbic brain handles the emotions of anger, fear and sadness. Despite the enormous untapped potential in our brain capacity, our brains still contain organs hard-wired with guidance that reflects the multiple layers of evolution tightly packed into that small cavity in our heads. Each system speaks to the others. Each plays a role in driving behaviour. And, we need to learn how the systems interplay to master our own behaviour.
As we learn how to reframe or shift our focus from fear-based thinking to embracing the future with energy, compassion and connection for achieving success with others, we initiate a shift in our brains that moves us from pessimism to optimism—transforming habit patterns that hold us back into new patterns that catapult us into creating a Culture of WE.
You can consciously and intentionally shift your thinking to optimism while facing fear. That is powerful!
Join Judith’s 90 Minute Complimentary Immersion Training
If you’d like to learn how to use Conversational Intelligence® to improve your client outcomes, sign up today for Judith’s 90 minute complimentary Immersion Training happening between now and early December, 2016.
In the Training you will gain more insights into the neurochemistry of conversations, how to expand and improve the quality of your conversations, and the latest practical applications and coaching frameworks to elevate your coaching to the next level.
Note from Dawna
I am not a big fan of coaching certifications. Many certified coaches have not done their own personal growth and consciousness shifting work and lean on the coaching process instead. However, I am a HUGE fan of Judith’s work because it is human centred, is a powerful vehicle for creating better conversations in the workplace and for removing fear from change and difference. I encourage you to jump on to the free training.