Test Yourself: Responses to Discomfort

One aspect of difficult change is something we carry with us. The way we are wired to respond to discomfort. Neuroscience tools help us identify common responses to discomfort based on our deep emotional response patterns. How do you, your team, or your organization respond to discomfort and what can you do to better prepare?

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Individuals, teams, and organizations have deep response patterns to discomfort. These deep emotional patterns are literally hard-wired into who we are as individuals, into team dynamics, and cultures. For reasons that have to do with which systems are more active when the brain is experiencing stress, whenever we experience discomfort, these deep emotional patterns tend to pop-up and influence which brush we use to paint our perception of the world around us, which decisions we make, how we act, and how we behave.

Ask yourself, how do you, your team, or your organization respond to discomfort at present? How do your main response patterns affect decisions when stress hits and how do they support or diminish your ability to adjust and change?

Top 5 Response Patterns to Discomfort

Neuroscience tools help us pinpoint a wide variety of response patterns to discomfort (KCI certified coaches and consultants learn to distinguish between over 40 specific skills). Here are the most common five responses to discomfort that affect how we think, act, and interact in general and in times of stress and change in particular:

  1. Receptiveness: Receptiveness is the capacity to deliberately and effectively use emotions instead of being controlled by emotions. High mastery of Receptiveness- related skills results in: Ability to be empathetic, ability to recognize and effectivity work through my own emotions, ability to contain other people's emotions. Insufficient mastery of skills related to Receptiveness can come up as: Avoidance, tendency to ignore problems, defensiveness, reactivity, sensitivity to feedback, insensitivity (being overly directive) in communication, tendency to ignore the feelings of others, irritability, lack of drive, seeming detached. Individuals or organizational cultures with low mastery of Receptiveness skills will often respond emotionally to threats and concerns. They may delay action in an attempt to dismiss worries or overact. Low mastery of these skills may lead to abrupt changes that are not thought out, or to a t