The key to better team collaboration

There’s a risk management headquarters right in your neighborhood. In fact, it’s up in your head.

When our brain encounters things or people that seem new and strange, its default behavior is to treat them with suspicion and even hostility.

That’s because when you’re faced with a potential threat, it’s far better to play it safe to start and then correct yourself later if your initial reaction turns out to be wrong.

For example, if you react to the sight of a stick in the middle of a hiking trail as though it were a venomous snake, you may be embarrassed when you discover that it was just a broken branch.  But consider the alternative. What if you concluded that a deadly rattler was just a harmless piece of a fallen tree?

This reflexive response may save your life on a hiking trail, but it can create unnecessary problems when meeting or working with somebody new.

In order to embrace diversity and encourage workplace harmony, it’s important to recognize our automatic and instinctive avoidance response to “outsiders” and then adjust it with more rational and deliberate thought.

After all, that “snake” in your group may turn out in reality to be the most valuable member of your branch!