Thoughts: Meltdown Uncertainty

“They live up there, and slightly to one side.”

Sir Ken Robinson in his TED 2006 Talk “Do schools kill creativity?”


A lack of emotional intelligence can lead to a meltdown – which includes irrationality, insecurity and isolation. At the social awareness level, people will notice defensiveness (“I” language) punctuated by jabs of aggression, and impatience. Truth in negotiation and compromise are impossible as trust has shrunk. This is typically found in adult behavior and signals an absence of self-awareness and self-management. It is likely rooted in an imaginary fear and lack of true confidence where the senses are numb and non-functional.

When you run into such a person, it can be horrifyingly puzzling. You wonder whether it is a reflection of their true unguarded personality or a circumstance of recent events leading up to the melting point (then you don’t know if it will get worse or better).

This is the kind of situation our YCISL program endeavors to train young people to gird themselves against in their own behavior, and to be able to recognize this problematic “pothole” behavior in others. When encountering such behavior in adults, our YCISL position is to step aside or put yourself into reverse. There’s no value in trying to save the other person or offering help; they are in adulthood where behaviors are unlikely to change and biased mindsets are entrenched. Adults who learn leadership later in life mostly learn to put on a facade – a modified interface layer on top of a complex and messy structure.

In YCISL, we train teams to ensure group positivity before launching into creativity. We encourage teams to have quick techniques to lift up the positivity, but what should you do when each has been used?

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