Inside Out – Insights into How Your Internal Advisors Work

Inside Out, the recent movie release from Disney/Pixar could be about any of us caught in a complex world where we feel suddenly unhinged by an unexpected and an unwelcome change – like a new boss or job loss, or even a bad review!

We meet the colorful characters who occupy their places at the console of Riley’s brain: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger as they negotiate for position in orchestrating Riley’s reactions to everything going on around her, and especially the trauma she experiences when her family uproots her and moves across the country to San Francisco. (You can learn more about their endearing qualities in this movie trailer:)

Joy is the one who tries to keep everyone in order, cheering the team on and dong interventions whenever one of the emotions threatens to damage Riley’s memories. Her biggest challenge is to keep Sadness from changing the color of Riley’s memories from Happy to Sad.  The complex inner world of the brain includes CORE MEMORIES created by significant events which have a direct link to the various aspects of the personality. We also explore Imagination Land, Abstract Thought, and Dream Productions which are connected by the high speed Train of Thought to the main brain console.

Emotional Intelligence
This movie provides entertaining and valuable insights into the neuroscience of our brain and fine art of what we call Emotional Intelligence!

Just as the first significant trauma in Riley’s life upset the balance of her emotions, so it is with men, and women who go through the sometimes traumatic changes in the WORKPLACE. Many previously positive interactions are touched by Sadness or Disappointment; and Anger and Fear often take over the helm. Joy recedes into a lesser role. Just like when we were kids, anything was possible and everything was new and interesting, until we learned that there are a million and one ways out there to feel threatened and fearful. Our Advisors take over and decide that they have to protect us from harm through sometimes drastic measures. These reactions can cause potential long-term impact – like throwing in the towel or taking the “my way or the highway” approach which can easily lead to job loss or a stall in the career. And these Advisors turn the orderly and happy console of the brain into a disaster zone, with little focus and no consistent direction.

Here’s my addition to the Advisors in Inside-Out:

Enter the Executive Coach who plays a new role at the console – the voice of Reason! Helping the client to observe the antics of Anger and Fear, and to recognize that bringing Joy and Sadness together to remember what is important, what they value and who they are as their “Best Self” will help them to get their Train of Thought back on track!

Applying the Insights

In learning who the advisors are, you can gain an appreciation for the strengths of the advisors and also their weaknesses. Once you bring the team together, there are new partnerships that form, like the connection between Joy and Sadness. Together they can remember long buried memories and reignite the dreams which empower you to become the creators of your new Personality Islands, to use the Disney parlance.

This new view of the advisors in our head can be lighter and more playful! Connecting with the emotions (even when they go off the rails for a time) empowers us to change the dynamic with our boss, our board, our peers and direct reports so that we can all be better collaborators, with less stress, higher productivity, and peace of mind!

Explore Your Advisors

In our coaching and workshops at Career Strategy Roadmap, we include the foundational principles of neuroscience and incorporate brain-based coaching into our best practices so that you can be the Voice of Reason for your team of both internal and external advisors. For more information, attend one of our complimentary What’s Next Discovery Sessions. Click here to reserve you preferred date and time.


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