Fight. Flight. Freeze in Business
The phrase “fight or flight” was coined in the 1920s to describe key behaviour that occurs in the context of a perceived threat. It evolved as a survival mechanism and results in an overwhelming action tendency from humans. Much later in the 70’s a third phrase was coined. Freeze. Doing nothing in the face of adversity. Think about that possum in the headlights. All these very real behavioural responses are designed to help us in situations when we feel alarmed.
Maybe not often thought about, but equally these responses apply around business management also.
For instance, as an owner of a business encountering a stressful situation eg cashflow issues, productivity or efficiency issues, revenues in decline, staff issues… or any other issue that keeps you awake at night, one of these responses will kick in.
How you actually respond to the business threat can be boiled down to how you’ve been conditioned from past experience and/or if you are naturally optimistic or pessimistic. If you’ve been given a terrible, off-track presentation regarding the business in the past, you’ll have a stress-induced flight or freeze response in similar future scenarios.
However, no business can grow if there is a pattern of risk-averse decisions… always fleeing when there are challenges in the business. Or freezing. Doing nothing. Because the fear of making a bad or wrong decision feels worse than not making a decision at all.
If left unchecked, this pattern of avoidance behaviour through flight or freeze will lead to passive, or worse, poor decisions. Stress sky-rockets as obstacles are not overcome. The business consequences of this don’t need explaining as the downward spiral continues.
The good news is a business owner can get help to engage their fight-response.
Not running away from or freezing in the face of obstacles, instead rising up to meet business challenges head-on and moving the business forward and away from harmful scenarios. A good business advisor can interpret and re-frame the cause of business issues and find solutions for the business.
This engenders positive response behaviour from the owner. Owners get to see their struggles are temporary, help is at hand, beneficial change can happen, there is the ability to succeed, cashflow can rectify itself and the business can overcome market issues. More-so, they get to sleep at night and they remember positively why they got into business in the first place.
Find your local Prime Strategies Business Advisor now.
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