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How to Combat the Lizard Brain

How to Combat the Lizard Brain

November 17, 2011

Seth Godin writes about a phenomenon called the in his book “Linchpin”:

The lizard is a physical part of your brain, the pre-historic lump near the brain stem that is responsible for fear and rage and reproductive drive. Why did the chicken cross the road? Because her lizard brain told her to.

The lizard brain is inherent in our DNA which is why it’s so easy to acquiesce to its charming allure. Acknowledging its existence is difficult because we are hard-wired to resist change…and to keep the peace.

But sometimes that inner-peace screams louder than outer-peace. And you need to combat your lizard brain. Here are some tips:

1. Write down a new idea each day. If brainstorming sessions only happen once a month, make it happen once a week. The more ideas you have, the easier they become to generate.

2. If you or your team does things “because that’s the way you’ve always done it.” Look deeply at why it’s that way. Then change.

3. Find reasons to collaborate. Discuss challenges and define strategies. It will lead to a clearer vision while building camaraderie for your vision.

4. Go out to lunch. Yes, step away from your desk and meet up with an old colleague. It’s amazing what an inspiring conversation coupled with some fresh air can do to release stagnation.

5. Change your environment. Rotate desks. People will learn to become more comfortable with embracing change if their office or desk switches locations once a year.

What do you do to embrace change and combat the lizard brain?