HOW THE MANAGEMENT BRAIN WORKS
The brain has three modes of operation - the "rational", "emotional" and "habitual". These three operating systems work together producing an average of 6,200 thoughts per day (J. Poppenk, PhD, Queens University). Now you know why you're so tired!
The rational brain works slower, focuses on facts and data, and makes logical decisions. Business plans are developed using the rational brain. Facts, data and logic provide the foundation for goals, priorities and plans. These plans are stored in your habitual brain as good intentions.
The emotional brain operates about 5x faster than the rational brain and relies on gut feel, instincts and initial impressions. When you're reacting to the spin cycle, you're typically using your emotional brain because change, uncertainty and surprise trigger negative feelings and emotional thoughts.
The habitual brain operates on autopilot - about 20x faster than your rational brain. It has quick reflexes and triggers behavior using rules-of-thumb and subconscious routines. Think of your habitual brain as mental software. This is where you store information (your memories). It also allows you to think and act automatically. It relies on pre-programmed thoughts and behavior. For example, we don't have to stop and think how to brush our teeth. Our habitual brain runs that program for us on auto-pilot.
The habitual brain's software is programmed by both the rational and emotional brains. The pre-programmed thoughts and behaviors in the habitual brain are based on beliefs and values - some are rational while others are emotional. The more these pre-programmed thoughts and behaviors are based on rational inputs, the better!
When you're caught in the spin cycle, your habitual brain has pre-programmed behaviors it can use. Remember - these thoughts and behaviors are based on your beliefs. When something goes wrong (breakage), there are two common beliefs -
- Belief #1 - someone screwed up and I need to fix it (emotional brain)
- Belief #2 - this is a common growing pain and a learning opportunity (rational brain)
Inputs from your emotional brain aren't necessarily bad, they just need to be managed.
Your emotional brain works 5x faster than your rational brain. When the sh*t's hitting the fan, your emotional brain has the louder voice and bigger influence on your habitual brain. The memories and pre-programmed behaviors fueled by the emotional brain are often counter productive.
Your rational brain is more deliberate and needs time to process. Your rational brain disconnects, and your good habits and routines begin to break. The business is managing you.
You can't turn off your emotional brain, and you don't want to. Your instincts and first impressions are often spot on, BUT your instincts and initial reactions can also lead you astray. You begin to break some of your better habits and routines. You make accommodations you wouldn't otherwise make. When you're stuck in the spin cycle, your emotional brain is in control.
The emotional brain often uses flawed logic. Have you ever been needlessly worried? Missed things you should have seen? Wondered, "What was I thinking?" We all have! When we're stuck in the spin cycle and our emotional brain is in control, thinking traps are everywhere. We think we can tell the future, but we can't. We think we can read minds, but we can't.