Oxytocin – what’s that? why’s it useful?
It’s involved in social behaviour, in increasing trust and decreasing fear, in increasing generosity and also in cognitive functions.
It’s a hormone secreted in the hypothalamus and it induces a calm, warm mood that increases tender feelings and has the effect of reducing blood pressure, cortisol levels, increasing pain thresholds, has anti-anxiety effect and stimulates positive social interactions.
Why is it important in learning, development and coaching?
Oxytocin works to calm the activity of the amygdala, this is the part of the brain where we detect fear and process what we do next, in other words how we behave next. Its important to us all in working out who to trust. Our ability to learn more is determined on how calm and at ease we are, which is when oxytocin suppresses the activity of the amygdala.
If you’re empathetic in your approach then you’ll be releasing oxytocin. Also useful to know is that oxytocin is key in ‘attachment’ which is the deeper condition of what we tend to call ‘engagement’ in our organisations and may probably have a profound effect on realising potential in the organisation as well as our relationships with each other and the ability to learn and develop more productively.
More oxytocin please!