Episode 3

Published on:

21st Apr 2020

Resetting Your Primitive Alarms

Micro resilience: Part II: Resetting your Primitive Alarms

1.       Primitive Alarms: a physical response needed for immediate survival.

2.      The prefrontal cortex is best known for things like planning, and problem-solving.

3.      The amygdala are responsible for the perception of emotion; they scan for possible threats

4.      The amygdala hijack is a term coined over 25 years ago by Daniel Goleman in his book on Emotional Intelligence.

In a crisis situation every leader needs to be aware of this potential of being hijacked by their amygdala. 

One exercise to use your emotions as a resource is called Labeling – Relabeling.

The reality is that in any crisis there is always a challenging balance when elements of surplus and insufficiency coexist with extraordinary variability. 

·        Too many people/too little food

·        too many with acute illnesses/ too few critical hospital supplies

·        too many emails/too little time to read and process


  • The better you can label your emotion the more you distance yourself from the feelings and the emotions that are hijacking you. 
  • In just a micro segment of time you can choose to separate yourself from the emotion that is vying for control. 


  • Relabeling becomes a thoughtful mind shift. 
  • Relabeling your emotions moves you forward.  You are not changing how you feel but you are changing what the emotion means.
  • With relabeling, you can gain control of your perspective. 

Don’t be misled…  The problems are still as intense. The reality is still raw. But, you have poised yourself to lead more effectively.  

 This month the Mastermind experience I am facilitating is called “leading through crisis: staying the course”. Are you leading a group that you would like to offer a mastermind growth experience to? If so, head to my website at www.healthyleadership.online/home schedule a complementary call. I’d love to learn more about how I can support you and your team during these challenging days.

Goleman D. (1995) Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. New York: Bantam Books

St John, B. (2017). Micro resilience. Minor Shifts for Major Boosts in Focus, Drive, and Energy. Hachette, UK. 

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About the Podcast

The Art of Leadership
The Art of Leadership focuses on soft skills... some of the hardest skills a leader will ever learn.
The Art of Leadership with Dr. Niña Ellison focuses on the soft skills of leadership, their value and the power of their influence. As a leader, if you are interested in moving from success to significance then balancing both hard and soft skills is essential!

Hard skills are demonstrated through technical expertise that results in clearly measured goals being reached. They are vital to the success of any initiative or program. On the other hand, soft skills emphasize the transformation of people. They highlight behavioral changes and making a difference in people’s lives.

This podcast is for leaders who are seeking a fresh perspective into some of the hardest soft skills a leader will ever learn. You can connect with Niña at https://www.ninaellison.com

About your host

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Niña Ellison

In 2019, after years of leading teams varying from international disaster relief and healthcare to the US Corporate world, Niña founded Healthy Leadership to focus on her passion for partnering with leaders in their growth and sustainability. Her own journey into soft skill development has convinced her that while her technical skills helped her get her foot in the door, her soft skills moved the influence of her leadership from success to significance.

As a soft skill specialist Niña takes monthly deep dives in her podcast series, The Art of Leadership, to explore the underlying dimensions of soft skills. She knows that soft skill development is not so much about WHAT but HOW a leader leads.
• From a 10,000 foot view a leader pursuing soft skills asks, “How do I problem solve; How do I manage time and energy?”
• From a 1,000-foot view that same leader, as they dig deeper into soft skills, begins asking questions like, “How do I listen; or How do gain self-control?”
• From Ground Zero the leader recognizes that there are underlying dimensions of soft skills as they ask, “How do I model respect for all; How do I sustain hope; How do I demonstrate appropriate love in the workplace; How do I maintain the right attitude?” How do I lead by serving?

Nina believes that behind every wildly effective and sustainable system and process are leaders and teams who have interwoven soft skills into every phase of their work.