Do you wish you had reacted differently (or better) to a situation?
It might not have been your fault. It might have been your chimp.
We all have 3 parts to our brains, a human, a chimp and a computer brain. The human is logical and rational. That is who you wished had written the reply to that email you shouldn’t have sent! But it was the chimp, the emotional, fly-off-the-handle no thought annoyance. But according the author Prof. Steve Peters, this chimp can be controlled and can actually be used to our advantage.
What you will learn:
3 brains –
- Human – contemplative and analytical
- Chimp – emotional brain, always first to react
- Computer – stores our beliefs and values
Manage your chimp –
Chimp can hijack you, this is not good or bad, it’s just a chimp.
EXAMPLE: there is an injustice and you get angry. Ask yourself: Do I want to be angry? If no then chimp is in control. Thanks the chimp and decide on a logical approach
3 ways to control:
- Exercise: let it vent in a safe place
- Box: argue with the chimp
- Bananas: distractions and rewards
Get rid of your goblins –
EXAMPLE: someone cuts in line in coffee shop.
- Human – be polite
- Chimp – knock ’em out
- Goblin in computer – tells you you’re not good enough….you do nothing
Replace this thought, engage meta-cognition
Different people, different brains –
- Don’t assume – you have no idea what is happening in someone else’s head
- Control your expectations – expecting perfection is dangerous
- Abandon all prejudice – positive AND negative, take people as they are
4 ways to communicate –
- Human brain to human brain
- Human to chimp
- Chimp to human
- Chimp to chimp – this one can get ugly
Decide in each situation which one it is and if it is appropriate
Focus on solutions –
- Human wants to exercise chimp wants to watch TV beat chimp by focussing on what you want.
- Be proactive and responsive