Oxytocin, the Trust Hormone
Don’t Let Your Brain Get Hijacked by “Being Right”
Business demands that we solve many problems working through othersers. When you are working with your employees, take special care to develop consensus and trust. The conclusion of any situation is to have your employees wanting to do the job, not feeling that they have to!
As the boss, there’s a strong motivation (for efficiencies sake) to chirp out orders and expect everyone to follow along. In simple situations this works, but when faced with more complex problems, avoid fighting too hard. We have a built-in tendency to fight extremely hard for our beliefs.
“When you argue and win, your brain floods with the hormones: adrenaline and dopamine, which makes you feel good, dominant, and even invincible. This feeling can be so compelling that your brain gets hijacked seeking more! It is so addicting that fighting becomes the technique of choice. ... Luckily, there's another hormone that can feel just as good as adrenaline: oxytocin, but with better results.”
Oxytocin is so important that we’ve devoted several previous emails on the subject. We are a fan. Oxytocin is often referred to as the “trust” hormone. Things go so much better when we trust each other and work together to accomplish our tasks.
As a leader, you should aim to spur the production of oxytocin, avoiding those spikes of cortisol and adrenaline. Listen with empathy. In conversation, make a conscious effort to speak less and listen more. The more you learn about other peoples’ perspectives, the more likely you are to feel empathy for them. And when you do that for others, they’ll want to do it for you, flooding your and their brains with oxytocin creating a strong bond of trust.
Connecting and bonding with others trumps conflict. Even the best fighters can break their addiction to being right by getting hooked on oxytocin-inducing behavior instead.
To find out more about oxytocin we suggest this 16 minute video by Paul Zak:
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