Over the last decade, I have taken an interest in the field of neuroscience and its development and findings. I completely agree that there is a lot that we know about the brain and about leadership that is not currently being used or put into practice, particularly in the workplace. For example, we know that we find it hard to respond to social threats with a growth mind-set and yet we still use outdated feedback processes that require us to do just that.
We know that focusing on strengths is most effective for engagement, job satisfaction and personal growth, and yet we work with tools that are designed to tell us primarily what we need to improve. I like that this tool takes this into account and encourages a strengths focus.
I intend to use this tool with my clients both with individual coaching and with groups within organisations where I believe there is benefit in them understanding themselves and each other better. I find this to be the case almost always.
I see a lot of what I call 'feedback fatigue', where an organisation has many feedback loops, review processes and feedback chains in place. My experience is that these are often having the opposite impact of what is intended. Rather than improving performance, it can be damaging. People take on board mainly the negative feedback that they receive and dwell on it, without the support of a facilitated conversation to encourage helpful change.
Here is some of what stood out to me working through this online CERTIFICATION PROGRAM:
- The brain has neural pathways to the gut and heart - We are continually learning more about how can experience emotions through these. We can learn a lot from taking a look at a brain. For example, it is possible to diagnose some illnesses this way and also to understand why people might be behaving in certain ways or experiencing certain conditions.
- Our brain has different types of brain waves for different functions - We can use technology like the Muse headset at home to understand better what is causing calm or quiet or charged and ‘noisy’ brain waves.
- The concept of ‘mirror before microscope’ - I have often explained this concept to my clients but I really like this terminology. It is very easy for us to look to what we think other people need to change about themselves and to make decisions and judgements on what actions they should be taking. In fact, we should be looking to ourselves first to better understand how and why we are thinking, feeling and responding the way that we do.
- The brain science modules were fascinating - and I plan to watch these again. I already have an understanding of the basic principals of neuroscience that underpin this tool but it’s always helpful to hear them explained in different ways. I am currently working through completing a diploma in Positive Psychology and I feel that being certified in this tool is very much aligned with the philosophy that I adopt when working with clients.
I often talk people through the idea that a person is like an iceberg, in that only a small amount of who we are is openly visible and ‘above the waterline’. This tends to be where feedback and development conversations are focussed. There is so much value however, in focussing ‘below the waterline’ at the aspects of us that are not openly visible to others and sometimes not even to ourselves.