Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Are you worried about money?

It's tough out there.


Feeling stressed and under pressure? If so, this is the time to be emotionally strong and mentally tough, to control your amygdala rather than the other way around.

In most organizations we are under continual pressure to cut costs, reduce budgets, remain competitive, deal with your employees' uncertainty and stress as well as your own and still manage your team's performance for strong results.

And what about at home? Are you facing pressures and difficult actions and decisions there too?

Don't succumb to The Almond Effect®


It would be easy to give in to fear and alarm. That's what your amygdala wants you to do. That's what The Almond Effect® is all about. It's the  dominant emotional response - it's automatic but being calm and optimistic requires a deliberate choice.

Remember it is The Almond Effect® that causes people to react to events way out of proportion to the threat that exists.

For example I strongly hold the view that the GFS was the result of uncontrolled panic and fear reactions to perceived threats that in many cases were not real - but our reactions have now given those fears substance and reality.

I want him piloting my plane


In stark contrast think about the way Captain Sullenberger landed Flight 1549 in the Hudson River on January 18 2009 saving the lives of all 155 people on board.

Because of his training and experience, the pilot showed complete mastery over the potentially fatal consequences of The Almond Effect®. Using his pre-frontal cortex (PFC) he over-rode his amygdala - and focused on acting calmly and logically to get the best possible outcome to the crisis.

I am sure that the passengers and crew were also very happy that he also glided planes for a hobby!

Yes we can


The saving of Flight 1549 was an example of self-control in a life threatening situation. You too can do this and rule your amygdala - especially in challenging but not truly life-threatening situations such as the ones our bosses and the economy is creating right now.

Lack of confidence, fear about the future - you can teach yourself to think rationally and with hope about what this really means for you. Learn to ‘Flick the Switch'.

Flick the Switch


Here is an introduction to one of the tools we use when teaching the STAR method for mastery over The Almond Effect®. It is a simple process that we can use to respond thoughtfully rather than react emotionally.

I created the tool based on research from neuroscientists showing that a conscious act such as naming our emotions produces a decrease in amygdalic activity and an opportunity for the PFC to assert control. It is a clear example of STAR in action Stop - Think - Act - Rewire.

You'll learn to do this quickly in your head but do it on paper the first time and at any time when you want to really take the time to think through what's worrying you.

Create it as a flow chart for optimum visual impact.

What's worrying me most at the moment?

Can I control it?

If Yes, then ask yourself:
  • Best outcome?
  • How can I work towards this?
  • Physical actions? Now/future?
  • State of mind needed? Now/future?
  • What does the change and outcome look like?
  • Activate feeling or behavior!

If No, then ask yourself:
  • What can I do to manage my stress?
  • Physical actions? Now/future?
  • State of mind needed? Now/future?
  • What does the change and outcome look like?
  • Activate feeling or behavior!

Triggers/techniques to Flick the Switch!
  • Worst outcome?
  • How can I work to minimize this?
  • Physical actions? Now/future?
  • State of mind needed? Now/future?
  • What does the change and outcome look like?
  • Activate feeling or behavior!
  • Triggers/techniques to Flick the Switch!

We expand, explore and practice these steps in our workshops. If you want more information on our workshops and tools, let me know.

Stop reacting, start responding at work


A major concern I have about the resurgent increase in redundancies and sackings is the message it sends not just about the organization's lack of loyalty and compassion but its lack of leadership insight, courage, tenacity and strategic thinking. Not just to the retrenched but to all staff and customers.

We've been through it before in the 80's, 90's and the 00's. Mass redundancies and layoffs in a panic situation resulting in lowered engagement, innovation, teamwork and performance - everything that today's organizations are invested in.

So will organizational history repeat itself? In the past, these actions brought about the very things they thought they would avoid including increased costs, poor retention, low engagement and re-hiring on a more expensive basis.

Clever organizations and thoughtful leaders will react strategically at this time. They will not be frightened. They will see it as an opportunity to review, change and revisit the existing way of doing things. They will make hard but wise decisions with a view to the future as well as the short-term. They will respond not react.

And most importantly of all, they will stay the course back to prosperity and success. That will take intestinal fortitude on their part and yours.

Stop reacting, start responding at home

It's a similar message for home. If you apply the same thinking you'll insert a pause before acting, you'll consciously take time to reflect and plan your responses, you won't panic, fret and stress.

STAR tools can help you achieve that ability- based on neuroscientific research that is unlocking doors into the reasons why people behave the way they do - and what to do about it.


If you want to develop your managers' skills to lead people in difficult and challenging times, please email me anne@anneriches.com about the demonstrable upskilling we achieve through the workshops we offer.

Or if you are planning a conference and looking for a speaker, email me at anne@anneriches.com to find out my availability as I would love to work with you.


Email: anne@anneriches.com
Tel: +61 412 509289

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