As I reflect on the many big and hard choices we are all being faced with right now I'm particularly aware of the challenges leaders are dealing with. I've had many conversations with leaders in organizations needing to make critical decisions about how to makeup for lost revenues, how to best treat employees, how to cut costs to best manage budgets gone array, and more!
These decisions are complicated, heavy and uncomfortable.
I'm also aware that we are all experiencing heightened levels of fear, which can further complicate the decision making process. When we make decisions out of fear we are letting our lizard brains run the show and by design, the lizard (or primitive brain) is not capable of navigating complex situations effectively. By contrast, the executive brain (or prefrontal cortex) is designed to think rationally, explore possibilities, and empathize.
As we make these big, difficult decisions it is essential that we engage the executive brain in the process. Pausing, inviting stillness by breathing deeply in through the nose and out through the mouth is a great place to start. From there, I encourage reflecting on open ended questions to fully engage the executive brain in decision making, this is where journaling is really helpful for clarifying your thoughts and engaging the whole brain.
Here are a few questions to reflect on:
What is the decision that I need to be making at this time?
What options do I have in this situation?
What if there were other options I have not yet considered?
How do each of these options align with my values?
What is the best course of action for me to take right now so I'm fully aligned with my values?
This crisis is stressful. And there are many hard choices we are all facing individually, as well as professionally. It is important be intentional and conscientious about making the best decision possible. At the same time it is essential to remember that there is no right decision. While these decisions might feel stressful in the moment, you have the power to leverage that stress for the better by engaging your executive brain instead of letting your primitive brain make decisions (or worse, non-decisions) on your behalf.
What's Rosabella Consulting Up To?
We have another Virtual Journal Jam coming up on Saturday May 2nd, where participants will learn how to use their journals to make better decisions when faced with hard choices. This is a great way to give yourself time and space to reflect with a supportive community! What's peace of mind, calm and ease worth to you right now? Learn more and signup to attend online here.