Modern Day Cavemen.
Walter Bradford Cannon was the first to describe the 'Fight or Flight' response. He describes how animals react when threatened.The adrenal medulla gland produces an adrenaline discharge into the body priming the animal to either fight or flee. The gland is present in all humans and has remained relatively unchanged since our cave dwelling days.
The gland gave our ancestors the edge they needed to survive when confronted by predators. When they were hunting they went prepared. They went out in packs and had weapons, when they were confronted with their prey the adrenal gland gave them the clarity and strength to stand and fight. When they were alone foraging for food, coming face to face with a mammoth or sabre toothed tiger the same gland provided them clarity and strength to run away, even if they returned with a pack of hunters at a later time to provide food for their tribe.
This tiny gland still sits on top of every human kidney, being controlled by the brain when fear or stress is present.
The fight or flight response has proven useful for millions of years, allowing the Caveman to survive and evolve into the present day human being, working hard for a company, providing income for a family or desired life style.
Today's humans or modern 'Cavemen' still have that gland but we have very little use for it. Not often do we have to fight off a Mammoth or Sabre Toothed Tiger whilst we wander the aisles of our local super market, yet at times when our brains feel the need of the adrenal gland, it still pumps out that wonderful strength giving adrenaline.
When was the last time a modern Caveman, whilst in a managers office or that busy meeting been able use the released burst of adrenaline? The short answer is never.
Well OK, almost never, as demonstrated by our stressed out office worker opposite.
Most modern cavemen bottle up this adrenaline, not allowing it the release that the body needs. Instead it is stored up, in muscles, the bodies organs and the brain. Over a period of time, the continual use of the adrenal gland and the allowed build up of unused adrenaline in the body, turns into modern day 'Stress'.
There has been plenty of research showing how bad continual stress can be on the body and how it effects people health.
Stress is very personal, people react differently to stress. Different triggers, different releases and different storage capacities in each of us. One thing is for certain, when we have reached our limit, it can have spectacular consequences. Not recognising personal triggers or failing to find a release, will make us all ill, both physically and mentally.
I was lucky enough to hear Carl speak at Talk Tuesday business networking. It was extremely interesting to hear his views on people and how they interact with one another. I am looking forward to the book coming out and would recommend his talks to both companies and individuals.
How can managers, bosses and business owners assess and resolve stress? How can they look after themselves and their staff ensuring they stay fit, healthy and motivated to serve customers with a smile every day? How can they identify all their staffs different triggers? What can they do to relieve this built up stress? How do they even speak to someone about it?
There is an answer and it is simpler than many will think. Many years ago a brilliant psychologist, Max Luscher identified four main personality traits. Stating that people will fall into one of his identified colours.
To help managers identify these triggers, Caveman stress has used Dr Luschers theory and taken it a step further. Each colour identifies a dominant trait and it has been paired with a Caveman's preferred roll within his tribe.
All Cavemen are fighters and can use a spear, when they have to. When the Tribe is more closely inspected it is made up of all the colours making the Tribe functional and prosperous. Each colour has a different characteristic and is unique to the desired tasks Cavemen find more fulling within the Tribe.
The Caveman Stress system can be used within any organisation, identifying employees colours, giving managers an system to learn what an individuals Caveman roll can be and what pulls their personal trigger. Managing stress within any work place will guarantee a happier environment, improved motivation, reduced sickness and the retention of hard working, experienced staff.
My Cavemen system has simple rules, which can be used in any stressful scenario. By knowing the colour and the role you and others play in your tribe, the order and the responses to these rules are adjusted. These 4 rules are;
- Does it affect me?
- Can I club it?
- Do I have to interact it?
- Can I ignore it?