Cortisol: Does Your Organization Stress Out Your Customers and Employees?

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This is the 45th episode of the Mind Your Noodles podcast. In this episode, Tripp discusses how stress can kill an organization and why you need to identify the sources of stress in your system. Sign-up for The 95 Method education and training program at Mind Your
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Show Notes

Mind Your Noodles Podcast – Episode 45

Cortisol is the Focus

Neuroscientifically Challenged

Cortisol Problems

Reducing Cortisol

Fear and Anxiety Help Create Cortisol

Drive Out Fear




Tripp: [00:00:06] Take care of the brains that take care of you with the Mind Your Noodles podcast. We keep you up to date on the latest neuroscience research and practices to keep your brain healthy and strategies to help your organization be brain friendly.


Tripp: [00:00:27] Hi, I’m Tripp Babbitt, host of the Mind Your Noodles podcast.


Tripp: [00:00:31] This is the forty-fifth episode and I have been building my education modules for building a brain friendly organization using the ninety five method. Been talking about that for several weeks now. Recording videos and putting them out on a education website that will be made available to this audience. I’ll start releasing some of these videos probably in the next few weeks. Some of them will be free that you can get a sense of what you’ll get out of it. And. But this week I wanted to talk about cortisol and we talked about it before episode 19. We talked in terms of what I used, an acronym called Codes, which stands for cortisol, oxytocin, dopamine, endorphins and serotonin. And all of these are happy chemicals except for cortisol. And because when we do, the first step of building a brain-friendly organization is getting an understanding of how our organization is put together and the effect on customers and the interaction between customers and our system and our frontline people that we want to be able to look at cortisol to see if it’s something we can get rid of an organization to make the other happier.


Tripp: [00:02:07] Chemicals like oxytocin, dopamine and endorphins and serotonin available in the organization.


Tripp: [00:02:13] So as we do the assessment, we want to be able to. Match up with the way we build our organization and what things are creating cortisol in it. And if we look at it, cortisol, it’s a hormone. Some some people call it the stress hormone, but it’s created by fear and anxiety. And basically a difference between fear and anxiety is fear is real anxiety is in anticipation of something going wrong. Now, I’m not gonna get into all of the scientific components associated with cortisol. There’s actually a Web site and a good book written by Mark Adding Minutes. He owns the Web site and the book The Brain Explained.


Tripp: [00:03:05] And but his Web site, his Web site is signed, neurosscientifically challenged. So I’m going to put a link to kind of if you want to get in deeper into the science behind cortisol and fear and anxiety. But but just real generally, he talks in terms of Dr. Dingman, talks in terms of HIPAA access, which is really the interaction. HIPAA standing for hypothalamus. Hypothalamus. Pituitary gland and adrenal glands. And this axis is what creates the cortisol, the hormone cortisol.


Tripp: [00:03:48] Again, I’ll put a link out to it. You can listen. Go as deep as you want on that. But really, cortisol is a result of kind of that fight or flight type of mentality.


Tripp: [00:04:02] And, you know, we needed those things as we were living in caves and things of that sort. Because we had threats all over the place and that, you know, adrenaline rush and that, you know, sprung you to action to be able to defend yourself or run away. So the fight or flight type of mentality. But as time has gone on, we’re still creating this atmosphere beyond of creating cortisol, beyond just this fight or flight type of mentality. But it’s being created almost. I can’t really say artificially because it really is happening within your body, but it’s creating cortisol that is very damaging to our health and the damage that it does. There’s a number of things that cortisol does when you’re faced with fear and anxiety. And this is being produced. And it’s not just a runaway. Real quick, if we only had a quick shot of it, we’d probably be OK. But the fact that this cortisol is created in these stress or anxiety types of situations at work, we can’t get away from it. And it’s constant and it’s always on us. So these are things that really are a detriment to our individual bodies and our collective bodies within an organization, depending on how brain unfriendly your organization is. But a few things about cortisol when it’s created it prah prioritizes the source of stress. So in other words, whatever it’s causing, the stress becomes a priority and it kind of dumbs you down. You can’t really think of anything else because you’re in the moment associated with that particular stress. So you’re not looking at you know, we talk in terms of systems thinking, we’re not looking at all of our options. We’re under duress or if we’re fearful, we have a lot of anxiety, you know, in our body. And this creates really bad things like it affects our sleep. We we we gain weight, we get puffy faces, we get moody, we get fatigued. And we also get a suppressed immune system, meaning we’re more susceptible to infections. We can get type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease.


Tripp: [00:06:42] It affects our ability to have or maintain memory and cognition. So all of these things are the negative effects of having situations or systems that are built that have a lot of fear and anxiety in them. Now, I’ve heard some people talk about, well, you know, you got to have some fear in your organization or else you wouldn’t perform well, you know. So what’s the right amount? And it’s going to be different by person. Each individual system is. Going to be able to have more or less associated with the way that they’ve been built and the way that they react to fear and anxiety. So those are the things that happen when we have this cortisol running through our body and how can we reduce it so that we’re focused in on things like oxytocin and dopamine, endorphins and serotonin. I almost at this point fume as two sides of the same coin. So if if we’re not creating cortisol, then some of these other things like the oxytocin, dopamine, endorphins and serotonin become available to you. Now, I don’t have a scientific evidence associated with that, but I do believe that if you’re reducing oxytocin in the way that your system set up, that people will react better within that system and be happier within it.


Tripp: [00:08:20] So how do we reduce cortisol? Well, we want to develop a brain friendly system. How do we create an atmosphere where fear and anxiety are not running our daily lives? And we can do this by doing things like. And we’ve talked in the show before with mindfulness, which is to me, mindfulness is just as simple as just paying attention to your breathing, you know, deep breaths in, deep breaths out, kind of clear your mind and do that for a period of time to kind of bring you back to the moment and reduce the amount of anxiety and fear that you might have. Getting more sleep is is another way to mitigate some of the problems associated with cortisol. Exercise, having pets, even some of the foods that we eat that dark chocolate, bananas, pears, black green tea, a black or green tea, yogurt taking some people take a supplements like fish oil. All are helpful in reducing the amount of cortisol that you have in your system. Now, if we look at the system that we’re trying to build ultimately and we’re trying to assess our current system, we want to look at some of the things that cause the stress in our system.


Tripp: [00:09:59] And we’ve talked about these off and on over many of the episodes. But, you know, things that could create fear and anxiety in your organization, things you do need to become aware of, of how you want your theory at work is, which is just the way you think about these things, are the standing within your organization as one, you know, social and professional. If you’re losing your standing within the organization or even perceived that you’re losing the standing within your organization, that’s obviously going to create, you know, stress and therefore cortisol. If we have things happening to us that we don’t have a predictable future, we don’t you know, everything’s kind of you know, one thing happens, something else happens. And so there’s no confidence about what’s going to happen tomorrow. Then this is going to create a stressful situation. And we want to then be able to communicate with people about things that are going on. We’ll talk in terms of freedom and control if we don’t have any freedom and we don’t have control. This creates stress within the organization. And and with customers social, if we lose our connectedness, just, you know, even with customers. I mean, Dick is very connected to organizations all of a sudden, you know, and this is probably happened to you where you’ve been dealing with organization for a long period of time. And all of a sudden it’s like they don’t know you anymore. It’s like, oh, well, they’re. Yeah. I used to feel like they were my friend and they wanted to help me. Now I’m feeling like, geez, they don’t know. And I only want to help me. They’re they’re really making my life difficult. And so there’s this loss of social connected connectivity between the customer and an organization.


Tripp: [00:11:55] And this, again, same thing happens with employees. You have this connectedness and especially when it’s amplified by doing something for the greater good or being involved in innovation. These are things that will create the other good brain chemicals that we have and less cortisol. The other thing is equity, that there’s justice that were fair in our dealings with people, and if there if we’re feeling within an organization or as a customer especially, that we’re not being dealt dealt with fairly in the situations that we’re engaged with on a daily basis, that we’re going to create stress and do this and therefore create cortisol within our employees and our customers. So these are the things that I thought we’ll talk about in my training around cortisol and the things that produce it. And you kind of being cognizant of the fact that these things are being created now. Some of them are created because they have to because the company is losing money or or whatever. But you just have to realize that when these situations occur, when we’re under stress, that we’re not looking at all of our options were we’re focused on how do I get rid of the stress and not all of the things that we probably could look at that would create an atmosphere for us to make the improvements that we need. So that’s it for this week. I am still working on the training, as I mentioned earlier in this episode, but I wanted to hit cortisol fairly hard as kind of a separate episode because it’s really important, especially as we’re doing the system assessment.


Tripp: [00:13:49] We’re kind of wanting to, as W. Edwards Deming would say, or Dr. Deming would say, we want to drive out fear from our organization. And how can we do that? I’ve given you a few things that you can do, not only as an individual, as far as eating the right foods, exercising, having a pet, you know, are things that reduce cortisol, but things that we really want to focus on as how do we make a better system and how do we identify the things that are creating the fear and anxiety and therefore stress within the organization and remove them ultimately. But first of all, we’ve got to identify them and know that they’re there.


Tripp: [00:14:32] And then we can begin to take action, because right now there in many organizations, they’re just unconscious things that are happening and nobody’s really identifying the difficulty associated with the systems that they built and what they’re allowing or not allowing employees to do to improve their standing and knowing about their future and the freedom and control and social and equity of things, you know. Ah! Ah! Are you fair in the eyes of customers and employees for all these things?


Tripp: [00:15:18] Hi, this is Tripp Babbiti.


Tripp: [00:15:20] I’d like to inform you that I will be releasing some of the videos of how to use The 95 Method in order to achieve a brain friendly organization within the next month and a half. There’ll be some free videos to give you a sense of what the training is about, and then also a little of the background behind the training itself. So if you’re interested and be notified of any updates as far as the training availability, then the pricing that I’ll be releasing the next month and a half or so, then sign up at Mind Your



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