How facing a paradox alters our mindset, behavior and neurological functioning

Devika Kapur August 2020, Webinars Leave a Comment

As a general rule of thumb, there should always be clarity amongst the people giving the order and the employee’s following them out in the form of tasks. If one occurs without the other, the task will remain incomplete no matter how brilliant the employees/employers may be in their own fields.

After obtaining clarity on the requirements or needs of the task, there are three aspects that come into play to proceed to the performance aspect of the process:

  1. Mindset is a belief that orients the way we handle situations.
  2. Behavior refers to the way we act or conduct ourselves in relation to others.
  3. Habits are a type of routine behavior that is repeated regularly and tend to occur subconsciously.

Further, the paradoxical mindset refers to ‘Both/and’ type of approach over an ‘Either/or’ situation. Many leaders think every decision must be one option triumphing over the other but it is possible to take aspects from both or run them parallel in order to have both the tasks be successful and have a better outcome.

Cognitively our brain tries to evaluate the decisions and come to a conclusion based on a practical sort of pros and cons analysis, by considering one way to be correct and the other to be incorrect. But with paradoxes this can be increasingly hard as both the options or statements are logically valid.

Neurologically, we see an effect on three sections of our brain: Prefrontal cortex, amygdala and ventral striatum. The prefrontal cortex is responsible for our emotional regulation and deals with actions like understanding, memorizing, inhibition, decision making, etc. The amygdala is the area that holds the emotional memories of the negative experiences, like fears, upsetting news, etc. that we have experienced which would give us a threat response. The ventral striatum is also known as the reward centre, which releases dopamine when a task is correct or gives a positive reaction. The amygdala is 5 times more responsive than the ventral striatum which is why we tend to recall the negative before the good.

In the following video, Mr. Klaasen breaks down the individual contribution of mindset, behavior, and neurology when it comes down to paradoxes, what occurs with overloading of information in a section of the brain and how to deal with paradoxical decisions.

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