Are you neurologically wired to handle stress?

Are you neurologically wired to handle stress?

People deal with stress differently and some are unable to handle stressful situations adequately. This could be problematic when hiring someone for a high-risk position. Thankfully, employers could use brain profiling to determine whether they’re getting the right person for the job.

When hiring for a high-risk position, such as a commercial vehicle driver, you need to be sure that the person can handle the stresses associated with such a position. Yet, how can you be 100-percent sure how someone will react in a stressful situation? Should you inspect their curriculum vitae with a fine toothcomb? Take them on a driving test? Ask for references and track their driving habits?

While all of these methods can be good indicators, it might still not explain why your truck driver did not see something he should have …

Brain profiling could be a possible answer. According to Brenda Zondagh, the managing director of Bottomline Business Consulting and a Neuro-Link licensed practitioner, neuroscience research has revealed that when an individual is under high stress the non-dominant side of their brain loses function.

The company’s website relates: “Stress causes the non-dominant side of your brain to ‘switch-off’. When stress intensifies further, we experience anxiety, frustration and anger. The more stress we experience, the larger are the areas of the brain over which we lose control.

This can be life threatening when operating heavy machinery and can also cause damage to your bottom line – when it happens to employees who are placed in key positions in your company.”

Asking an employee if they are right- or left-handed will not show, which side of their brain is dominant. “Most people believe the dominant side of their brain is the side that is opposite to the side they write with,” says Zondagh. “However, this is not necessarily true. The only way to determine which side of your brain is dominant is through brain profiling.”

The company determines brain profiles through a simple online test, which delivers the results immediately. Bottomline Business Consulting doesn’t only reveal the dominant side of the brain, but which of 16 different personality groups an employee fits into. “The test also measures coping abilities as these have a direct effect on reaction times,” it states. “The questions are designed so that individuals cannot give what they think is the correct answer.

“The ingenuity of brain profiling is that if you have a shortlist of potential employees, and each seems just as capable as the next, you can use brain profiling to make the final call. It can reveal that certain individuals do not have the ability to handle stress associated with driving an 18-wheel truck over a long distance. It can also show where that person would excel instead.”

Zondagh adds that proof of the value of brain profiling can be seen in a mine that used it to determine why a driver failed to prevent an accident, which could easily have been avoided. “The mine closed for three days, causing a loss of millions. The driver was tired, facing personal problems and was hot, as the truck had no air-conditioning. The brain profile showed how these factors impaired his decision-making abilities and the mine used the results to implement safety measures.”

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