The Future of Leadership

The Danger and Value of our Negativity Bias

HomeTalent Insights BlogThe Future of Leadership: The Danger and Value of our Negativity Bias

Author: Garrick Throckmorton– Chief Product and Services Officer

Negativity. You do not have to pull your head up too far, or unfortunately look too long, to encounter a sea of negativity around you. Within seconds on your favorite social media channel, or in a moment watching your favorite talking head on tv, you will encounter it. Have you ever stopped to wonder why there seems to be a bias towards negativity around you? You might even have the awareness that you lean towards negativity when reacting to your environment with the speed at which your leg jumps during a reflex test!

The answer to this question actually quite simple. Our brains were designed with an inherent negativity bias (4 negative emotions to every 1 positive emotion) that is intended to protect us from harm. When we see a stick laying on the ground, our brain tells us it is a harmful snake first, in order to keep us safe. This bias shows up in our lives everywhere we go and clearly can impact the manner in which we show up at work. Are you hesitant to meet new people? Do you find security in sticking with those you trust and have a tough time letting others in? When you hear a new idea, do you start with a bias towards failure?

Listen to the 2 minute audio clip below, from the 12 Geniuses podcast interview with TeamTelligent Managing Partner Bob Eichinger, as he explains the brain and its negativity bias in more detail. By understanding the helpful elements of our negativity bias (i.e. you are kept safe from the snake), and also the harm it can do (i.e. resistance to get to know others) we can then begin to explore solutions such as mindfulness management, emotional management, and the creation of habits of intentional responding to help increase our own effectiveness and ability to thrive in both work and life.

Interested to learn more about the TeamTelligent body of work by Bob Eichinger, Roger Pearman and Team? Join our September 18 (12-1p ET) Executive Overview of The KSA Suite of Tools to hear directly from Bob!

Visit the 12 Geniuses Podcast to listen to the full “The Future of Leadership” episode.