nocebo effectYou’re likely familiar with the placebo effect. It’s when a patient experiences a positive reaction to an inert drug or procedure because he has been told that is what the drug or procedure will do.

Not as well known is the nocebo reaction. Coined by Walter Kennedy in 1961, it’s essentially the opposite of the placebo effect.  When patients were told that their prognosis was grim, their condition was more likely to worsen, despite interventions to make them better.

It’s an example of the body following what the brain tells it to do or feel. The brain is remarkably powerful!

Think about what happens when you jump to a conclusion about how awful a meeting or project or task is going to be. The nocebo reaction kicks in and when you attend the meeting, dive into the project or start on the task, you’re predisposed to look for negative experiences.

That negative disposition will seep into the work you’re doing, limiting creativity, collaboration and energy.  The nocebo reaction has ongoing negative ramifications for the health of your business and career.

Not everything you do is exciting or fun or invigorating, but neither are most things that bad. Practice taking a neutral stance and see how that affects your outcomes.

If you try this neutral stance would you let me know?  I’d love to hear about your experience. You can contact me here.