• Deborah Jenkins

Neuroleadership Words of Wisdom

Updated: Apr 9

Wow! I feel so blessed to be able to, just this morning, participate in a live video conversation presented by Enrique Rubio with Hacking HR, interviewing Dr. David Rock, CEO of The NeuroLeadership Institute. What fantastic insight, relevant to our current health/business/economy/social crisis as well as for events anytime. There are so many messages to learn from but I will share a few of my leading takeaways, with my interpretation and input.


Every situation invokes either a reward or a threat response. There are three threat levels of intensity. If you find yourself shifting towards a higher threat stage, try and catch yourself on the way down that hole and do a reappraisal of the situation. Try to find the silver lining by redefining the status and identifying the positive outcomes that can become the change for the better. This may lead to pivots that shift our perspectives, priorities, and goals. Be open to new and different possibilities.


If you find yourself in the highest level of threat mode, don't express nor suppress your emotions at that time because the brain is in fight or flight mode rather than functioning well in the prefrontal cortex for effective communication, problem-solving, and creativity. Expressing emotions at this high stress level could lead to regretful comments and actions and have a negative effect on relationships and results. Suppressing them will also be felt by others and will produce residual stress on them. One outlet is to find a way to use humor to dwarf the threat level.


Be proactive and establish SCARF buffers. Identify which SCARF threats are at risk and find ways to minimize them. The SCARF Model, as found in the Handbook of NeuroLeadership by Dr. David Rock and Dr. Al Ringleb, identifies the treats as:

  • Status

  • Certainty

  • Autonony

  • Relatedness

  • Fairness

Examples to help tackle today's threats that we all are feeling include:

  • Get back to work. Don't let this time discourage you from moving forward.

  • Check in with your team every day, via video chat if possible. If not, the telephone is a good connection tool as well. Keep in touch, motivating each other, and collaborating towards the future.

  • Drill down your goals to set more short term. Instead of focusing on monthly, quarterly, or annual goals, look at one week at a time and identify 3 or 4 achievable goals to pursue.

  • Keep in daily contact with your loved ones. Again, video chat if possible. Just hang out with them and build your relationships.

  • Take the down time that you may be having and get to those projects you have been neglecting; house improvements, hobbies, filing, cleaning, pet time, yard and garden, photo albums, reading, writing, meditation, and serving others. Service is a great stimulator to greater health and well-being.

  • Minimize social media distractions. Stay informed but don't let overload get to you.

  • Exercise. Stress and anxiety place a large toll on the body and it's immune system. Staying healthy is especially important to help fight off any illness we may get. There are many exercise options to do within a small area on your own. Search for videos or instructions from others if you can't seem to find the right routine for you.

  • Eat healthy. This is a good time to try those new recipes. Home-made food, fresh fruit and vegetables, water, and don't forget proteins, grains, fiber, dairy, and yummy treats.

  • Sleep. Reappraise your sleep needs and habits and give your body and mind what it needs.

  • Fresh air and sunshine. Getting outside each day is a gift to our mind and body, especially our lungs. Vitamin D from sunshine is important to our immune system, even indirect sunlight under the shade of a tree to avoid exposure helps.


With that said, I am wrapping up my writing for today to go for a walk outside, taking in the vitamin D, filling my lungs with fresh air, and mindfully realigning my priorities, goals, and attitude. Have a blessed day, All!


#neuroleadership #threats #positivity #actions #priorities #SCARF #goals #Coronavirus




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