GUEST POST BY WENDY JENKINS, READY RESILIENCE
Ready Resilience helps organisations thrive during times of change and challenge, using practical neuroscience-based resilience tools that have been proven to offer in-the-moment solutions and long-lasting results.
The ‘feel good’ chemical dopamine is usually thought to be released by your brain in reaction to an expected reward. In reality, according to a 2012 Vanderbilt University study, dopamine is involved in both positive and negative motivation, depending on where it acts in the brain.
People with high levels of dopamine in one brain region were motivated to work hard for a reward, whereas those who had high levels in another were motivated to avoid that work. In essence, dopamine motivates us either towards or away from something.
That’s a significant discovery for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, it reveals part of what is going on in the minds of high performers. Second, it suggests that low-achievers can become high-achievers if neuroplasticity can be used to rewire the way their brain distributes dopamine in response to things like working consistently to complete a task.
None of us appreciate being told to do something we don’t want to do at work.
We may, however, learn to frame these types of tasks in a positive light so that, rather than focusing on what we want to avoid, we see the work as a goal to achieve. When we can become more passionate about reaching a goal for its own sake, work becomes more like play.
Consider what drives you and your team members.
Feeling of accomplishment? Inspired by the added responsibility and implied trust? Recognition of being a valuable employee? Desire to belong and share goals with others? Challenge of working towards your goals while maintaining optimal work performance?
Managers can also use these to coax the best possible efforts out of their teams.
What is one part of your work that you currently try to avoid? How could you reframe it to become more driven and passionate to achieve it?