What’s more likely to help you achieve a goal or do better at work: encouragement or criticism? According to current neuroscience research, the answer should always be encouragement. Criticism can trigger negative emotions like fear, anger, and stress, which trigger the amygdala to override the brain’s executive control center, the prefrontal cortex. The amygdala narrows our focus to deal with the perceived crisis created by the criticism, making it harder to think clearly or creatively and to take in new information. Conversely, the positive emotions that result from encouragement create heightened activity in the prefrontal cortex, boosting cognitive flexibility, creative thinking, and information processing. Are you more likely to skip the criticism in favor of encouragement after reading this post?
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