Trust Your Gut

By Morag Barrett on February 5, 2013

Posted by Morag Barrett | February 5, 2013Trust Your GutI recently read a blog by Lakshmi Balachandra titled, “Should You Eat While You Negotiate?” The gist of the blog centered around testing whether business dealings done over a meal improved the outcome of that deal.The author conducted a few experiments. One experiment compared negotiations that took place over a meal in restaurants to negotiations in conference rooms. In another experiment, negotiations were conducted with or without a meal in a conference room.It was discovered that the negotiations in which participants shared a meal offered “profitable, measurable benefits through mutually productive discussions.” Those that took place in a restaurant over the conference room were even more successful. The negotiations done without a meal were all less profitable.She also conducted an experiment in which a task instead of a meal was given for the team to perform to see if the team building activity would build trust as the meal did. It did not. The conclusion was that unconscious mimicking and biological factors such as a glucose release must be at play.This got me to thinking about other things that are happening inside our gut that are outside of our awareness. For example, did you know that there are more serotonin receptors in our gut than in our brains? Most of us, if we think of serotonin at all, associate it with mood as the “feel good” chemical our brain makes. And melatonin is known to be the hormone our brain makes to help us fall asleep, but it also plays a very important role in the contracting of the gut muscles. Our digestive system has its own neural network that is distinct and separate from our brain. Knowing this, you can enhance your  collaboration and leadership and team building skills by planning your negotiations around a meal.  It would seem that all those cliché’s and adages referencing “gut instinct” and “trusting your gut” are more true and meaningful than we are aware.My point? Trust your gut-it’s literally talking to you.Related ArticlesTags »collaborationDecision MakingEmotionEmotional IntelligenceTeam activities Share1
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