Growing up, I had an aversion to ice cream.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved it — perhaps too much. I loved it so much that I ate too much, too fast. And the result was always brain freeze. You know what I’m talking about. That intense pain right behind your eyes that won’t go away until it’s good and ready.
Perhaps my tendency toward brain freeze is somewhat attributable to physical conditions — the structure of my soft palate or my sinuses. However, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to believe that most of the problem is a result of overload. I unwisely try to load up with too much ice cream at one time.
Overload is often the culprit when it comes to making good decisions. While the human brain is one of our most amazing and resilient organs, it is also one of the most delicate. The brain consumes a large amount of our total energy, has a relatively short, high-intensity work span, and is prone to distraction.
Periods of decision-making severely test our stamina. Add in a little emotion — or a lot of emotion — and you have the makings of a virtual brain freeze. (For some people, that even includes pain similar to ice-cream-induced agony.)
Conflict complicates decision making. As we deal with emotion, heightened physical responses, and constantly emerging options, the brain struggles. Decisions become increasingly difficult.
Conflict resolution professionals work hard to create a safe and productive environment in which solutions can be created and tested. Yet, until recently, considerations about critical thinking and the way brains function were largely ignored.
The human brain works best when it is given time and space to function at its highest level. In the coming weeks, I will be sharing more about the way the brain works and how you can best harness its incredible power — and how to help others do the same.
I look forward to hearing your questions and comments.