Fear is the enemy of success
Anxiety comes in many shades. She can be a friendly warner who protects us. It can also lead us to peak performance at short notice. On the other hand, long-term exposure puts the body in permanent alertness, reduces its performance and ruins our health.
"The core of all human motivation is to find and give interpersonal recognition, appreciation, attention or affection," wrote psycho-neuro-immunologist Joachim Bauer in his wonderful book "Principle of Humanity".
Based on the latest neuroscientific findings, he postulates the image of a person oriented towards cooperation. “The motivational systems switch off when there is no chance of social attention, and they start when the opposite is the case, ie when recognition or love is involved,” he also writes.
So when work is filled with anxiety, it violates basic knowledge of brain research. With fear at the nape we run faster, but only a very short piece. After that we are completely exhausted. And nothing works anymore.
The amygdala: our dangerous radar
The amygdala examines all the events that affect us, paying close attention to emotionally important factors. It is our early warning system, our neural radar for threatening situations and potential dangers. She registers every movement and hears the almost inaudible rustling in the bushes. It interprets the meaning of nonverbal messages and any change in the voice.
She is looking for friendly gestures and sinister figures. She unceasingly explores the facial expressions of others and decodes supposed intentions. Every change in mood is more or less subtly noticeable through micro-movements of the facial muscles.
A well-trained amygdala draws suspicion in time. It exposes falsehood and manipulation. She senses threats coming in and makes lightning fast for the right reaction: panic-like escape, dosed attack or breathless solidification - depending on what is the most appropriate solution.
Thinking slowly is of little help in the face of danger. Therefore, the connection points between the individual brain cells, the so-called synaptic clefts, are blocked. There the brain waves can no longer flow unhindered and we can no longer think clearly. The result: a blackout. Only simple routines can then be unwound.
Fear paralyzes, destroys and makes stupid
Anxiety can lure us out of reserve at short notice and lead us to the limits of our possibilities. But it also paralyzes and destroys. Permanently puts the body in permanent alertness, it diminishes its power and leads in the end to the burnout. Those who are afraid also reduce their learning ability and make mistakes.
Surprising, intimidating, circulating, power-obsessed, pathological managers represent a permanent threat for employees. They signal the brain: Danger to life. This leads to an explosion of stress hormones. And the authority that produces Rambo bosses leaves employees paralyzed at the bottom of their potential.
In the times of industrial society, a climate of fear sometimes still led to success, since at that time the workers did not have to think, only had to feel. Subordinates, however, who like marionettes can fast-forward their standard program Company hardly more use. That's what computers do from now on.
Creativity can only flourish in cheerful brains
In the future will be paid mainly for thought performance. Creativity is the key resource of the future. The intellectual know-how is our greatest competitive advantage. In knowledge-based service companies, a dedicated, situational, flexible and high-quality output is required.
But creativity needs serenity - and breadth in the brain. It must flow freely between the synapses. They say: head workers need friendly and inspiring bosses. Only then can they and they want to make their intellectual potential fully available to the company.
On the other hand, persistent mischief ties energy in the wrong place. And it sabotages the brain's ability to do its best. Pressure narrows the brain and creates the dreaded tunnel vision. Only those who are well can develop inventiveness and accomplish something extraordinary.
The fear must disappear from the companies
“The greater the fear, the more the brain's cognitive performance is affected. In this state of mental misery, aimless thoughts take our attention, ”Daniel Goleman writes in his book 'Social Intelligence'. When we are afraid, we feel small and inferior, and that radiates on everything we do.
Friendliness as a leader is much more than threats and aggression. It is above all the fear that must disappear from the companies. It is the greatest performance killer. It leads to inadequate services, to destructive action and finally to resignation.
This is usually expressed by the fact that the employees are hardly willing to express their opinions openly, to introduce new ideas, to cooperate cooperatively, to accept new challenges or to improve the quality of their work. Rather, they go first to the state of adapted yes-say, then to leisure-oriented conservation, then to (inner) denunciation or sabotage.
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German edition: ISBN 9783965960169
English version: ISBN 9783965960176 (Translation notice)
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