I thrive on the wisdom of the crowd and love being the learner in the room especially when its not just the coach at the front of the room who is sharing their wisdom
I have been working with Zoe Routh from Inner Compass since 2014. Zoe has a weekly newsletter. As a person who stuggles to concentrate when I am part of something that doesn’t seem to have a clear purpose or is happening because its become a habit tha the wisdom in this recent newsletter from Zoe resonated.
Thank you Zoe …….
Meetings anf Gatherings that are just for updates?
Seriously, we have better things to do with our time. Unless we’re making a gathering a purposeful, meaningful, and a neurochemically-laden experience, don’t bother.
How to Create An Event Worth Going To
If we’ve learned anything through the pandemic, we’ve realised that we need to be more intentional about our gatherings, especially our face to face ones.
For many, the work from home orders have shown us the benefits of these arrangements:
✔️ Less travel
✔️ More comfort
✔️ More convenience
✔️ More productivity (sometimes!)
It’s not true for every situation, but true for many. Enough to consider a blended work arrangement for the future.
It means that getting together in the future, in person, in small or large groups, is going to need to be for a VERY good reason if it’s to get us out of our track pants and slippers.
There are important benefits to face to face gatherings, especially for teams, and they are all biochemical:
Oxytocin: it’s the feel-good neurotransmitter that we get from human touch (a handshake, a hug, a back pat). It also gets released in well-bonded teams, and in moments of connection. These moments are best nurtured in person. We can use all of our subconscious body language sensors to cue intimacy and trust. And when we have physical proximity, our neurochemistry can become synched, especially if those teams have solid systems and structure around interactions to create team safety.
Serotonin: another feel-good neurotransmitter that gets triggered with recognition and elevation of status. When we get recognised by our boss or peers, or when we see others getting recognised, we get a surge of serotonin, and a wonderful feeling of well-being washes over us. Being close to others physically amplifies the sensation.
Dopamine: that’s the little buzz we get from completing a task, getting something done, finding something, recognising a pattern, or solving a problem. When we do this together, the buzz is electric and amplified.
Endorphins: aside from exercise and sex (use your judgment as to the appropriateness of these in the workplace!), we get a load of endorphins when we cry and when we laugh. When this happens collectively, the relief after release creates a sense of connection that is extraordinary.
Cortisol and adrenaline: these are stress hormones designed for quick bursts of energy during times of intense stress or activity. Can trigger survival responses (which is not good for teamwork).
Norepinephrine: similar to cortisol and adrenaline in its effect. It’s the same feeling, whether we see something as threatening or exciting. Pro-tip: reframe an experience as exciting instead of threatening and you will stay in a productive state.
In planning your gatherings then, as CEO, here’s what to consider:
- Every gathering has a purpose.
- Every gathering has a meaning.
- Every gathering has feelings.
We need to cultivate waves of meaning and feelings across each gathering. This is the art of being a neuro-leader!
Here are four types of gathering to master:
These are best for heightened oxytocin and serotonin. Design activities for:
These are best for norepinephrine and dopamine: building excitement and finding solutions and patterns. Explore:
- Purpose of the team and business.
- Potential of the team’s ability and capacity.
- Possibility for the team and business’s new achievements.
These are best for easing the stress hormones of cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine when faced with the unknown. Articulate with others:
- Gap between now and next.
- Map across the gap.
- Message to guide us through.
These are great for dopamine and norepinephrine: finding solutions, getting tractions and moving forward. Create activities for:
- Problem solving
- Marking progress
What gatherings are you planning? How can you make them more powerful with intentional amplification of biochemicals?