Fight or Flight in the Workplace


We can all relate to the panic we feel when we need to leave the house but cannot find our keys. We spend time looking around the house searching in every corner…we even go so far as to check in the fridge because the last time we remember seeing the keys was when we put our groceries away. Finally, after minutes of frantic searching we find them right in front of us, in a place that we had checked three times before.

The word panic derives from the Greek πανικός, “pertaining to shepherd god Pan”, who took amusement from frightening herds of goats and sheep into sudden bursts of uncontrollable fear.

Panic is a sudden sensation of fear which is so strong as to dominate or prevent reason and logical thinking, replacing it with overwhelming feelings of anxiety and frantic agitation consistent with an animalistic fight-or-flight reaction.

This same panic occurs when we are trying to solve business problems in a way that is too quick and with insufficient information.  As a result, we experience symptoms such as a lack of sleep, irrational decision making, and illogical thought processes that can all manifest itself much to the detriment of the individual and those affected around them.

When next facing a situation where panic threatens to set in, take a breath, relax and approach it with a clear head. If you can achieve this, the problem becomes manageable and the solution easier to arrive at.

Lexi is a Marketing Evangelist at Purple Cow Ideas Management – an organisation that helps technology businesses redesign their business models to help them communicate to their customers better. You can follow us on Twitter and join the conversation on Facebook.

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