REINFORCING THE SPIN CYCLE
When you're stuck in the spin cycle, your emotional and habitual brains are conspiring against you. The emotional brain triggers your habitual brain's bad habits, snap decisions and immediate reflexes that are counter productive. These habits, decisions and reflexes may feel good in the moment, but they're just sugar highs.
An example is "micro-management". When the spin cycle is giving you a healthy dose of uncertainty and stress, your emotional brain gets worried and triggers the habitual brain's belief that "I need to take control of the situation!" Many of us are pre-programmed to jump in the weeds and start rooting around because it makes us feel better. This hands-on approach makes us feel a little more certain and offers a bit of stress relief, but it knocks you and the people working for you off their business process. You've triggered an unintended consequence - more disruption (change, uncertainty, surprise).
Another example is what we call "death by meetings". The spin cycle throws a lot of change, surprise and breakage (under performance) our way. What happens when we're facing a major (or minor) change, dealing with a surprise or trying to figure out what went wrong? The emotional brain conspires with the habitual brain to trigger a common reflex - LET'S MEET ABOUT IT! When stuck in the spin cycle, meetings multiply like rabbits. 🐰🐰🐰 Why? It feels right. They give leaders a false sense of control.
"Meeting happy micro-managers" perpetuate the spin cycle. They mean well, but create more stress for everyone. Stuck in meetings or otherwise micro-managing, decisions bog down. When in the spin cycle, managers HATE making decisions. They're stressed and things feel uncertain. Who wants to make a decision that way? So what happens? The "meeting happy micro manager" calls more meetings, because they need more information (certainty). Here's a chance for the rational brain to kick in, but its struggling with the emotional brain's thinking traps. This is what's known as "paralysis by analysis".
Behaviors triggered by the emotional brain are well intended BUT often wrong. Once the rational brain catches up, decisions often change. This sends mixed messages and creates more uncertainty, surprise and stress to fuel the spin cycle.
"Micro-management", "death by meetings", "analysis paralysis" and "mixed messages" all contribute to the spin cycle AND they are caused by our emotional and habitual response to the spin cycle. When you're stuck in the spin cycle, the very things you're doing to break free are often keeping you stuck!