In the Covid-19 pandemic I’ve seen leaders who were able to stay cool and calm in the face of threats, and others who were derailed. The difference is how they handle fear - both their own, and that of their team and organisation.
What is our Hardwired Response to Fear?
Fear is an adaptive response designed to protect us from danger. It’s our emotional warning system that something is a threat, shifting our brains from executive function into survival mode, where we make split-second decisions in our midbrain.
Adrenaline, cortisol, and blood pressure rise to help us meet a situation our body perceives as putting us in critical danger. This response is a hardwired evolutionary adaptation that can serve us well when we are under immediate physical threat.