GUEST POST BY Wendy Jenkins OAM, 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.
September 2023 Resilient Leadership Tips
Our minds have an extraordinary ability to conjure vivid mental simulations of worst- case scenarios, triggering physiological responses as if these imagined events were real.
Originating from our evolutionary history, this capacity can be both a source of anxiety and a tool for preparation.
Early humans who could anticipate threats were more likely to survive and reproduce.
This inherent tendency to visualise and prepare for worst-case scenarios helped our ancestors navigate a physically dangerous world.
As a leader, it is important to recognise that your team may also occasionally engage in worst-case scenario thinking.
It is a natural instinctual brain response to uncertainty.
The amygdala, a vital emotional processing centre in the brain, plays a central role in this phenomenon.
When we imagine dire situations, the amygdala interprets them as real threats, setting off a stress response.
Stress hormones surge, heart rate increases, muscles tense, and breathing quickens – mirroring real emergencies.
However, imagining worst-case scenarios is not always negative.
Visualisation can enhance problem-solving and preparation.
By mentally rehearsing challenges, you and your team can equip yourselves with strategies, boosting confidence when confronting similar situations.
While preparation is essential, leaders should additionally emphasise positivity and optimism.
Balancing worst-case scenarios with a hopeful outlook can motivate teams.
Encouraging mindfulness practices among team members will additionally help them recognise and manage stress, as it has been shown to mitigate the negative aspects of catastrophic thinking.
Developing emotional intelligence is another key to helping leaders manage their own stress responses during crisis simulations, setting a calmer tone for the team.
Great leaders should also seek to instil ‘adaptability’ as a core value for themselves and their team.
In fast-changing environments, the ability to pivot and respond to unexpected challenges becomes critical.
If you are intrigued about the neuroscience and want to learn more, Wendy has recently created an infographic about the impact of an unhealthy workplace on our brains.
You are welcome to download a copy at https://bit.ly/RRINF83
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Wendy Jenkins is the founder of Ready Resilience, Co-Founder of the Lungitude Foundation, Speaker and Lung Transplant Survivor. 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. Having been told she had two years to live over sixteen years ago, Wendy is driven to help people transform their perspective on challenges in life. To find out more visit www.readyresilience.com.