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Organisational Oxytocin

I’ve written about organisational cortisol (see my previous blog) so how do we flip that around to create the type of culture we want to be part of – one that is rich with oxytocin?

Magic happens when high levels of oxytocin exist allowing individuals and teams be the best they can be individually and collectively to achieve amazing things.

How can we create an environment that nurtures teams and allows them to be dynamic, to be a team characterised by activity, change, progress, with positive, can do attitudes, full of energy and new ideas?

A dynamic team looks like a group of friends. They are caring and collaborative and aligned with each other and their goals, have a shared vision and are getting things done.

Judith E. Glaser writes in her book Conversational Intelligence about ‘up-regulating oxytocin producing behaviours and down-regulating cortisol producing behaviours’.In organisations, teams can be dynamic with high levels of oxytocin, or toxic with high levels of cortisol.

Leaders can up-regulate oxytocin producing behaviours by focussing on:

  • Inclusion of all team members
  • Appreciating and acknowledging individual’s efforts
  • Nurturing a learning mindset for themselves and the team
  • Sharing information
  • Celebrating success
  • Listening to the team and what they have to contribute
  • Letting them share their expertise and ideas and try out new ways of doing things
  • Being OK for mistakes to happen and help the team learn from them.
  • Doing what they say we they do
  • When making promises, keeping them or explaining why they can’t be kept
  • Creating curiosity mindsets and asking more open questions to extend their and the team’s thinking further.
  • Watching the reaction of the people they are interacting with: are they opening up or shutting down based on what is being said.

Creating a culture we want to be part of, and an environment we enjoy, is so important to our mental well-being. Focusing on moving a toxic team towards an oxytocin rich environment is imperative.

What are you doing to create the magic in your team?

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