jen spencer coaches

The dominating emotion in a room wins…
03 08 09, 11:07 pm
Filed under: Business Related, General, Growth + Development, Health

It’s been scientifically shown that the dominating emotion in a room wins.

We’ve all seen this at play:

*A group of naysayers gets turned around by a passionate, positive voice.

*You go out with a group of friends that are all in a great mood when one brings up doom and gloom and the mood of the group becomes deflated. Sound familiar?

I’d like to share with you what goes on in our beautiful unconscious minds during times like these. Our brains will respond to any given situation or environment by either approaching or avoiding . This often happens without intention and is an automatic response. (more specifics at

Approaching happens when positive experiences and emotions occur (interest happiness, excitement, etc.). When one is in a state of approaching, they can see possibilities and options more clearly.

Avoidance usually happens during experiences of threat (fear, anxiety, sadness, etc.). Threats can come in all shapes and sizes. For example…

* A client kills a creative idea they don’t understand.

* A parent feels threatened by their child’s lack of listening during an inappropriate outburst in front of other people.

* A Baby Boomer manager feels threatened by a Gen Y employee who has a stronger skill set than themselves in a particular area. Avoidance limits options and squelches creative thinking, affecting high-level decision-making, innovation, and learning potential.

Essentially, we would all rather experience approaching versus avoidance.

So, what can you do to create more approaching and less avoidance?

1. Recognize which people, groups, and situations you typically experience Approaching with, and which you experience Avoidance with.

2. Stay curious about what causes excitement and interest for those around you. Foster that space, whether it’s your boss, co-worker, employee, lover, friend, child, or parent.

3. Stay conscious and mindful. One of my coaching teachers, David Rock, described mindfulness as looking at your thinking from a 3rd person point of view…that is, observing your thoughts without judgment. For more information on ways to create Approach, email The NeuroLeadership Institute ( to get a copy of David Rock’s paper on the SCARF model.

Not always easily but very simply, we create new habits by spending continuous time and attention on them. Unfortunately, you don’t go to the gym after 3 months of being inactive and instantly walk out with a better-looking ass. The same applies for our thinking.

Godspeed, and may you experience much approach in the upcoming months! 

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