6 Brain-Based Leadership Game-Changers For 2018 [Infographics]

*As originally seen on Forbes.com

 

The business environment has changed significantly in recent years, making it even clearer that relentless change is now the norm. Emotional agility is key to stay brilliant, no matter how turbulent the times and no matter what external changes you face.

Are you ready? Is your organization?

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3 Things To Start

Make New Meaning: What we call thinking is actually a series of pictures, sounds, and feelings that go by at light speed in our brains. The process by which this happens is illustrated and summarized in the diagram below. Information from the external environment is stored as Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, Olfactory, and Gustatory (VAKOG) data in our brains. Our prefrontal cortex assigns meaning to the information, primarily by generating beliefs. If the feeling assigned to the information (person, place, thing, or activity) is bad, then the meaning we make of that information will be “it is bad.” Similarly, if the feeling assigned to the information feels good, then the meaning we make of the information will be ‘it is good.”

Human beings will reach only for the best available feeling on their menu. If we want to change behavior, we must add new or better feelings to the menu, not remove bad ones. It’s time for us to feel more powerful, not in having power over others, but in having power over our own experience and emotional state.

Give More Feedback: Giving proper feedback is necessary. The more we practice and encourage useful behaviors, the more automated they become. With frequent and proper feedback, you can train your team and organization to auto-course correct. Our clients love the two processes below, as they help everyone get to a shared positive understanding for growth/resolution.

  1. Feedback Frame
    • What’s working is ____________
    • What I’d like to see more of is ________
    • Equal amounts of each
    • Use up, down, across the org chart
  1. Four Conversations
    • Are you OK?
    • Is there too much on your plate?
    • Is this role not the right fit for you?
    • Do you really want to work here?

To see a more detailed Feedback Frame outlined, please visit my previous blog Fix or Fire? Who To Cultivate, Turn Around, Let Go Of At Work.

Use Neurostorytelling: All leaders need to be great storytellers. Stories are potent engagement and teaching tools. They help us navigate change by experiencing it vicariously through the characters in the story. They help us to create new beliefs and expand our identity to see ourselves as bigger, more capable, and more powerful than we had previously. We connect to the storyteller via mirror neurons; we get deeply engaged and feel/hear/see and even smell/taste what’s happening in the story. The stories you tell about your organization need to be positively impactful in this way too. The storytelling recipe my client’s love can be found in my previous blog Why Leaders Need To Be Great Storytellers.

2 Things To Stop

Resist What Is: Resisting your experience is like having your fingers stuck in a Chinese finger trap. The initial reaction of the victim is to resist and pull their fingers outward, but this only tightens the trap. Resistance merely stabilizes your present state. Whatever we focus on, we fuel. When we resist the emotion, we make it stronger and actually give consent.  Once we embrace resistance, we are ready to transform resistance. To help identify what’s being resisted, check out my previous blog Resistance Is Necessary For Optimal Organizations.

Pretending Humans Aren’t Biased:  All human beings are biased. It’s a natural state of the brain that evolved from the days when we needed to be able to calculate very quickly if something was like us and thus friendly, or unlike us and possibly dangerous. In fact, the brain has far more (three to four times as much!) real estate devoted to identifying threats, than to identifying opportunities and rewards. There are over 150 different types of biases and all have their roots in the structure of the brain.

Understanding and checking our biases leads to better decisions and more accurate cognition (thinking). When we understand, we make better decisions.

To truly promote diversity and inclusion, it is absolutely critical to train your team in effective communication skills. Techniques like rapport, inquiry mode, and feedback allow people to get to know each other as individuals, not as ethnic, race or gender groups. And that, my friends, is the secret to having diverse teams with lots of inclusion and to busting bias.

As mentioned in a previous blog, How To Work With Unconscious Bias In Your Organization, awareness alone doesn’t work, but structures which prevent biases and the creation of skilled communication patterns and habits does.

1 Thing To Continue

Make Engagement A Priority: The best way to boost revenue, profits, fulfillment, fun and performance in general is to create an emotionally engaged culture. Working together is like polishing rocks. Team members won’t always agree or get along, but in high-performing teams, they bounce back to the Smart State higher, harder, and faster than their competitors do.

To become resilient and shift to our Smart State, we must have safety, belonging, mattering. How do you know who needs what when? We start by using the SBM Decoder.

When we give people what they crave, their critter brain calms down and we can guide them into their Smart State. This is where true rapport, connection, alignment, enrollment, and engagement live. High performance, collaboration, and sustainability are the results! Remember, Safety + Belonging + Mattering = Trust.

Here’s to an amazing 2018, where each of your team members is connected to the heart of the organization!

 
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Featuring case studies and proven techniques, Power Your Tribe provides a set of powerful neuroscience-based tools to help managers identify emotions, release resistance, end isolation, focus on outcomes, and course-correct for continued success.

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