Two-Way Street

PR, social media, events and incentives – Collaboration & communication ideas for demanding businesses from The Castle Group's Mark O'Toole

Posts Tagged ‘Millennium Learning’

Thriver or Survivor?

Posted by thecastlegroup on September 4, 2009

We asked Chief Provocateur of Millennium Learning, Inc. Julia Geisman to share her insight on the current state of the economy, and more specifically, how it causes good people to do weird things. Read on, enjoy and thrive.

“Survival is necessary. Thriving is elegant.” 
Maya Angelou

When in survival mode, a person will do whatever it takes to survive: start shooting or get out of Dodge…fast. This is better known as the fight or flight syndrome.
 
This fact led me to muse about how fear and survival play out in business. Is it possible to move from surviving to thriving? If so, what does it take? What is the impact on decision-making if one is operating in a survival mode vs. thriving? These are important questions to explore.
 
Neuroscientists agree that our first reactions are emotional, and then we tap into our reasoning capabilities – a higher brain function. This happens in nanoseconds… at least under normal circumstances. What happens if one is facing abnormal business circumstances? Short-term focus, reactive marketing strategies, contraction and hoarding are a few of the symptoms of a survival mentality.
 
Survival leads to maintaining; thriving produces growth. Survival leads to reactive thinking; thriving leads to being proactive, taking time to consider options, soliciting input and new possibilities.
 
Ask yourself these questions to determine your current state:
 
–  Are you open to new ideas?
–  Do you take time to strategize?
–  Are you maintaining your regular exercise program?
–  Are you allowing yourself down time?
–  Do you discuss your ideas with others?
–  Do you still have your sense of humor or laugh enough?
 
If you’ve answered “no” to two or more of these questions, it’s likely you’re just surviving. Step back to weigh your options rather than working harder. Anything you do to reduce the stress will help catapult you into a thriving mode. Do a SWOT analysis to revisit your strengths and areas of vulnerability. Have a cup of coffee or go out to lunch with a friend and share a good laugh. Exercise. While these suggestions sound basic, they have the power to transform surviving into thriving; from anxiety to greater clarity.
 
It’s fine to be surviving if you’re willing to accept the consequences. Acknowledging this fact, paradoxically, gives you greater control and can have a transformational effect on your results.
 
So, are you surviving or thriving?

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