Helen Keller had once said, “Life is a daring adventure, or it is nothing”.
Some of us are thrill- seekers. We live to feel the rush – in our jobs and everyday life too. Monotony kills us. While some of us like instead to play it safe, choosing instead to paint a more dependable portrait.
Whichever category you fit into, you will find that a little bit of an adrenaline rush can definitely help you- and your team. Adrenaline, the ‘fight or flight’ hormone has several wonderful benefits, that helps boost employee productivity and team performance.
A lot of companies are weaving adventure sports into their employee performance boosting efforts. Here is why you should give adrenaline a try-
If your team has a big deadline coming up, it might appear counter-productive to go white water rafting. But the truth is, a good dose of adrenaline keeps the brain engaged, focused and improves its ability to handle cognitive tasks faster. Which amounts to ‘thinking on your feet’.
When adrenaline is released into our body, the hormones dopamine, catecholamine and norepinephrine are also secreted. These are ‘feel good’ hormones’ that make us feel positive. And whoever complained about positivity at the workplace?
Dealing with stress
Stress at the workplace having your team feeling tightly wound? Adrenaline helps muscles in the body relax. This includes the bronchioles in the lungs, which makes breathing smoother and easier. And also undoes some of the damage caused by all those smoke breaks!
People who feel a rush of adrenaline report feeling like they can ‘lift a car’. While this may be slightly exaggerated, adrenaline does make people feel a lot stronger and feel like they can achieve anything. This also helps bring about a sense of healthy competition amongst employees – much like athletes in a race. It makes working towards individual and collective goals fun and engaging.
A good manager does want his team to be open about how they feel in different situations, so any negative feelings can be worked through. But this needs to be done in a controlled manner. Sudden outbursts are not only unprofessional, but also distracting to others.
In 1884, William James, a professor at Harvard had published a paper suggesting that emotions were caused by our response to stimulus, and not the other way round. For eg- we run when we see a bear. This running causes the feeling of fear. Accordingly, adrenaline based activities can be used to help employees alter their emotions by controlling how they react.
While the direct effect of adrenaline on emotional behaviour is yet to be concluded, it can help keep a check on those dramatic episodes that makes everybody awkward!
Adrenaline may not directly boost teamwork, but participating in exciting activities together definitely will. When your team shares the experience of an exciting trip or adventure, it strengthens relationships and improves communication, improving the environment at work too. Plus it makes for great conversations in the cafeteria instead of pointless gossip.