I am always intrigued by reminders that we are all so human and still driven by biology and chemistry. In this article Judith E. Glaser highlights the neurochemistry behind a particular challenge of leadership, management, and collaboration: We can become addicted to the neurochemical feeling bestowed by being right, and we can let that chemical payoff impact our ability to listen, to encourage others, and to collaborate.

I’ve coached dozens of incredibly successful leaders who suffer from this addiction. They are extremely good at fighting for their point of view (which is indeed often right) yet they are completely unaware of the dampening impact that behavior has on the people around them. If one person is getting high off his or her dominance, others are being drummed into submission, experiencing the fight, flight, freeze or appease response I described before, which diminishes their collaborative impulses.

Ms. Glasner prescribes some exercises to help one overcome this addiction: Setting rules of engagement, listening with empathy, planning who speaks. These are good.

In general, I would encourage you (us) to be aware of this possible addiction — to pause, check yourself — what’s driving your need to be right? If there is a question as to that answer, then stop talking for a bit and simply listen.

Reference kudos: Hugh MacLeod, creative genius at gapingvoid.com

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