7 Practices of Successful Neuroleaders
Leadership in the “Century of the Brain”.
Leaders are those who have the ability to influence and interact with others. To make life easier, every person can choose to be their self-directed leader. You can’t be a victim of people, situations or circumstances. Neuroleadership uses modern neuroscience to accelerate growth and development while reducing stress. It’s a safe and secure way to be the “captain” of your life.
Traditionally trained leaders are finding practical neuroscience to be the fastest, most effective and sustainable way to create a happier life for their families, friends, and organizations. Practical neuroscience can solve personal, professional, and organizational problems that are based on interpersonal conflicts, trust, respect, and collaboration. It also helps with self-directed development, creativity, decision-making, and creative problem solving.
7 Practices for Successful Neuroleaders
This article bridges the gap between theory and practice in neuroleadership. This article focuses on the consistent “high road”, which is the litmus test of leadership effectiveness and personal integrity. Practical neuroscience’s beauty and elegance empower and equip people with tools and knowledge that can improve their quality-of-life and that of those they are interacting with. These 7 principles of neuroleadership are scientifically sound and can be used to build better relationships, productive teams, and more sustainable organizations.
1. Do your best and share your knowledge with others.
Neuroscience promises you to be the best version of yourself and to be able help others. Because the brain is infinitely capable of learning, growing, and creating, this process can never end. The most powerful form energy we have is the one that connects like-minded minds. The first practice is a double-sided coin. One side is called “You” and the other is “Others”. The context frame of reference for the coin is “We”, which is the foundation for inclusion. This motto is modeled by master-level neuroleaders who practice the following behavior in all situations.
2. Respect neurodiversity
Neuroleaders understand that each person is unique and can bring out a multitude of strengths, talents, interests, interpretations, and interactions with the world. The process of tapping into the brainpower, skills, and knowledge of multiple people to solve difficult and vexing problems is called “The greater the diversity the greater the potential.” They must not rely on their past thinking or behaviors to solve the problems. It is important to create an environment that fosters trust and respect where people from different backgrounds can work together towards new results.
Neuroleaders try to understand others’ points of view before they express their own opinions. They refrain from taking a position or expressing themselves in defensive or attack modes. The “neutral gear” behavior fosters trust and respect, and it also encourages cooperation and collaboration. Respecting neurodiversity, the core axis for neuroleadership, is key. Neuroleaders must have core competencies such as discipline, patience, and the ability to suspend judgment. Once you have been around people for a while, they will begin to model your behavior; this is when things start to shift quickly.
3. Establish inspiring vision, mission and values
People do things for their own reasons. People must see the value in people and be able to achieve desirable personal outcomes. Neuroleaders have compelling visions and mission statements. They also set exciting goals. This is the foundation of neuroleadership. Values are the foundation of business. They set the standards for how people will treat customers and each other. Think about the results in your relationship with your spouse, family, friends, or workplace if you engage and contribute to this practice. This process fosters ownership, commitment, and loyalty. Participants in the group become the key mass for coaching, role modeling, and implementation. By setting the bar high, people will be drawn to the same vision, mission, values, and goals. This is another important foundational block to “conscious change”, tapping into the highest levels of human potential.
4. To align people’s strengths and what is needed to be done
It makes sense that people will be more enthusiastic about engaging and doing their best when their interests, passions, knowledge, and strengths align with the tasks they are given. Aligning our sensory and cognitive strengths with what we need to do is a neglected area. Each activity requires a mix of visual, kinesthetic, and auditory skills and strengths. Every activity also requires different levels Sequential (ordered), and/or global (big picture). Consider the consequences of choosing a surgeon whose least preferred sensory pathway would be Visual, but who is also oriented to Global thinking. This could compromise safe and proven surgical procedures.
It is practical and profitable to match people’s strengths with the tasks at hand. You will see increased engagement, higher productivity, fewer mistakes, and happier people.
5. Create safe, supportive, and stimulating environments
Leaders may be uncomfortable with the idea of “fun” at work and might push back. Maybe their brain programming has led them to believe that fun distracts people from work and lowers productivity. This is incorrect thinking. In the workplace, fun means feeling motivated, safe, able to tackle challenges, using strengths, feeling positive, physically comfortable, and having positive interactions. These conditions can limit your enjoyment, productivity, and fulfillment. Fun can make the workforce’s most valuable and powerful asset, the brainpower.
Neuroleaders know that people experience different brain states. These can range from intense fear to calm, creative thinking and performance excellence. People’s mood states can be affected by positive and affirmative language and behavior. A neuroleader can show compassion and empathy when someone brings in worries. She/he may use affirming language such as “I see that you might be out-of sorts today, what are my options?” Positive language, such as “thank you,” and “please,” throughout the day, can go a long way in helping people feel better about themselves. This improves their moods and productivity.
6. Provide practical neuroscience tools and training
Understanding the neurodiversity of others is essential to making the most of it. The team profile allows the team to communicate on their preferred “wavelengths”, saving time and reducing conflict. For example, someone with Visual as their strongest sensory preference, and Global as their cognitive strength needs to see the bigger picture, options, and possibilities. This means that you use attractive and colorful visual media such as flip charts, graphs and pictures. It also encourages the exploration of possibilities. This will frustrate the visual and global thinker. These profiles can also be used as “alignment tools” to assign work that is compatible with each person’s strengths. Risk management is reduced by being aware of your own blind spots and knowing which team members have strengths that can be used as quality control.
Understanding one another’s emotional “hot button” is also important. These are words or situations that can trigger positive or negative emotions. For example, people can become angry and negative if you tell them they need to lose weight. Others may be annoyed by whining and complaining. Positive moods can be activated by making eye contact with people, offering them coffee or saying “I value these aspects about you”. Understanding each other’s “hot button” helps reduce stress, minimize interpersonal conflict, save time, and keep relationships on track.
For more neuroleaders to be able to leverage neurodiversity, they need to have experience in training. This includes sensory and cognitive strengths, blind spots, neurodiveristy, neurodiveristy, and “blind spots”. The return on investment is nearly immediate, and the results can be measurable.
7. Celebrate your success
Celebrations are fun and affirming for brains. Neuroleaders live a simple, sincere life. They love to give “high fives” and offer genuine compliments throughout the day. Recognizing milestones and reaching big goals should be celebrated. People are more happy when they celebrate the “We” than the “Me”. Celebrate neurodiverty and the results it produces.
These 7 practices can be used to make anyone interested in becoming an expert neuroleader. Two people can achieve the same results in a relationship than an organization with thousands of workers. Practical neuroscience offers a solution to many of the daily problems that we face in our professional and personal lives. Recognize, celebrate and leverage neurodiversity to achieve new and exciting outcomes. These 7 practices are within you; they will change your outlook and your life.