The Neuroscience of 2 Degree Shifts

2° (Two degree) shifts are based on the principles of neuroscience. We understand our brains are comprised of billions of specialised cells called neurons and that neurons are connected by neural pathways. We learn new behaviours by forming new neural pathways in response to associations we make every day from sensory data (values, attitudes, beliefs). The more we consciously practise a new response or behaviour, the stronger the pathway becomes and the easier a behaviour or altered response becomes.

Similarly, our brain can also delete neural pathways and unlearn associations that we consciously decide no longer serve us. Following a process with consistent effort, we can positively alter the way our brains work resulting in significant changes in our safety behaviour.

We need to keep updating our brains to reduce the ‘bugs in the system’ – much like an update software on your computer. 2° shifts allow individuals to actively work toward building a safer culture and be personally accountable for changes in their own behaviour with the support of each other.

By empowering individuals to practise these new behaviours in a safe, stimulating and realistic environment the change becomes sustainable because it aligns to the improved safety culture. The power to transform the safety culture of an organisation comes when a collective group of individuals all make their own 2° shifts to improve safety and sustain those shifts.

What’s your next 2° shift?