How do you deal with change? Do you enjoy the challenge, or crumple under the threat of an uncertain outcome?
Yesterday’s Formula 1 Tuscan GP had three restarts. Three! It was a spectacular race to say the least. What fascinates me from a behavioral perspective is how each driver dealt with having to restart the race under varying conditions. The car is obviously going to feel different. The clutch bite point changes, it has less fuel, it’s on a different compound, all things they really cannot prepare for and so are forced to deal with in the moment.
It’s the end of an era. Claire Williams has stepped down as Deputy Team Principal of Williams Racing, after the team was sold to Dorilton Capital. A decision that will undoubtedly have a massive impact on the whole team. It’s no secret that they have had their fair share of ups and downs over the past years. But there is no denying that this team is legendary and belongs in Formula 1.
Max Verstappen was on fire yesterday. Fighting your way up the grid from 7th to 2nd place is impressive any day of the week. But this picture perfectly captures why Formula 1 is a team sport. Max hit the barriers during the reconnaissance lap and sustained damage to the car’s front wing and front left suspension. He limped his way back to start/finish where Red Bull Racing ‘s mechanics did the undoable: they fixed his car in 12 MINUTES.
For the past few seasons I’ve been studying Formula 1 results from a behavioral perspective, to see what we can learn about team dynamics and performance under pressure. Instead of keeping these analyses to myself, I thought I’d share some of it with you!
Time for another Formula 1 GP behavioral analysis! This week’s analysis is about this board radio. How would you respond if a colleague talked to you the way Max did? It may be tempting to say you would never accept someone going off on you like that, but remember that context is everything!
The Black Lives Matter movement has sparked a revolution that has gone global. Unfortunately, the sobering reality is that only the white population can make BLM succeed in its mission. Not a popular opinion, but let me explain
I have never been particularly vocal about politics on this platform. Which is strange, because in my daily life, I am. I have a very strong opinion about the current president of the United States. I have a very strong opinion about the blatant disregard for human rights that has been rampant in the US for years. Whenever I could choose the topic myself, my high school and college essays were about the civil rights movement, racism, or slavery. And yet, for the past few years, I have been silent on this platform. It is partially because I felt like on LinkedIn, I have to show my ‘professional’ side, and I’m representing the organization that I work for. I felt like I had to tread lightly, because I did not want my personal opinions to be confused with my employer’s opinions. I did not want to alienate people; I did not want to polarize. But it has now come to a point where that doesn’t feel right. I’m not a celebrity, and I’m not a public figure, so my voice may not hold as much power as theirs. But I am a biracial woman. I am someone who grew up in one of the first ‘multicultural families’ in the neighborhood. I am someone who had to learn to stand up for herself against kids who felt superior because of their skin color. I am someone who has had cops called on her when she was 7, because the neighbor felt I was ‘looking at him menacingly’. And the cops came. I am someone who’s black father had to be especially deferential to those cops, to defuse the situation.
Covid-19 has forced us to become parents, teachers, and workers all wrapped into one. One person, one household, and for some even one room. This is no easy feat. In Part 1, I explained the way our brain responds to stressful situations like this and shared ten tips to manage anxiety. In Part 2, I will share my list of ten tips to retain some form of work-life balance in our lives during these chaotic times.
There are moments in time when you can feel the history books being written. I was 16 years old when 9/11 happened. It was one of those defining moments of which even my pubescent brain knew that it would change things forever. It did. The world was never the same. And I think the covid-19 situation will be the second one of those moments. For the past few weeks, I have been wondering what the post-covid world will look like. But I can’t seem to figure it out. Will this solve our climate change issues? Will it bring us together as people? Will it sink our economy? Is this the mass extinction event that some have been fearing for years? The honest answer is, I don’t know. I do know that in a three-week time span, my life has completely changed. And I’m not sure I know how to deal with it. Being a neuroscientist means I have a lot of theoretical knowledge about how to deal with uncertainty, unpredictability, or crisis. It doesn’t mean I’m able to put it all in practice. I’m struggling just like everyone else. But since I know that helping others is an effective way to reduce anxiety (more on that later), I figured I could at least share what I know.
The world is scared. Scared that the end is near, that God is punishing us, or that we’ll run out of toilet paper. We are experiencing mass anxiety on an unprecedented scale. It is global, there is no getting away from it. And even if there was somewhere to go you wouldn’t be able to get there, because up to 90% (!) of all air travel has been suspended. I’m not an epidemiologist, not an infectious disease expert, not a physician, and not Donald Trump (who has ‘a natural ability for science’, because his uncle was a professor at MIT). So, I can’t tell you if we’re going to be OK, or if this is the prologue to some end-of-days, apocalyptic mass extinction event. But I am a neuroscientist so I can tell you why not knowing how dangerous COVID-19 actually is, freaks us out even more than knowing for sure that it is dangerous.