Peter Burow, Founding Partner and Chair of NeuroPower Group describes our brains’ innate response to change, best:
One of the biggest challenges many people face when adapting to new information is trying too hard to figure out how it applies or validates to their current perception of the world – And then, disproving this information when it does not align with their reality.
When, in actuality, our brains are constantly changing to adapt to new information. You may not understand this information in the current mindset and level of understanding that you are at now. But when you study, reflect, and research this information, your brain will have changed to be able to adapt to new learning and to have a more expanded perspective.
Physical feelings of stress and fear of change to things we don’t understand or the unknown are the greatest blockers to expanding your mind.
When you adopt a learner’s mindset that is agile, flexible, and open, understanding yourself and others gets easier. You can learn to enjoy meeting new people and encountering new perspectives and change in general, instead of feeling stress and that newness threatens your sense of self and security.
So if there is a topic of discussion that makes you uncomfortable and feel easily ‘triggered’ (which often happens in DEI work) – trust that while you may have difficulty understanding this topic of thought currently, if you provide yourself with the tools, the right resources, and care – you can in the future. You have the capability to understand more, and to feel at peace discussing these ‘triggering’ or uncomfortable topics.
As a workplace leader navigating organizational change in the workplace, once you are able to acknowledge your brain’s natural response to change or new information, you are able to take the steps to then choose what response you’d like to have to this information that practices consideration to others and overall helps you to become a better leader.