Neuroleadership is an emerging trend in the field of management. As we look at the importance of global leadership in our ever-changing business environment, we find a connection between our way of thinking and our leadership and decision-making style. Below are several articles related to this topic.
Please choose 2-3 articles from below to read on the subject and then evaluate and discuss the rise of neuroleadership in the human resource and organizational development disciplines.
In an interview, David Rock, founder of the NeuroLeadership Institute, talked about how scientists’ growing understanding of the brain illuminates techniques for leadership and decision-making. Rock said mindfulness is the ability to be meta-cognitive or to think about your thinking. Labeling is the ability to put words on your mental state — for instance, to articulate when you are feeling anxious. All involve an area of the brain that is central for self-regulation — the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. Researchers are discovering that self-regulation — regulating emotion, regulating your thoughts, regulating your attention — is essential in leadership. The optimal leader is adaptive. Leaders have to know when to be dogmatic in their beliefs and when to be collaborative, when to get granular and when to be big-picture-focused. To be adaptive, you must have an integrated brain. A big part of the creative process is using your non-conscious brain, because the problems being tackled are simply too big for conscious processing resources.
The four domains of NeuroLeadership; problem solving, emotion regulation, collaborating and facilitating change provide an interesting lens through which to examine the field of global leadership development. Leaders today face greater challenges than ever before as they work across multiple geographies, functions, product lines and national cultures. Neuorscience provides a useful framework for understanding how leaders gain insights while learning to work in new ways across traditional boundaries in a borderless world. Leaders, therefore, need to be able to see and process information in new ways, making connections between phenomena that have never been linked before in their minds. This is systems thinking, and it is the hallmark of resourceful and innovative leaders throughout history.
The author is in the process of designing a new leadership program. He experiences the frustration of more than 60,000 leadership books. He decides to go a different route: Design a change program with the “learner’s brain in mind” — by combining deep emotional moments that require peak attention from participants and finally bring participants to generate their own insights and takeaways. Neuroscience has started to impact leadership development and it will further shape it. NeuroLeadership is more than a framework. It influences entire training designs and approaches — on multiple levels: 1. value of leadership programs, 2. training design and investment, and 3. understanding fundamentals of how the brain works.
Moving beyond the voluminous research on management leadership that focuses on psychology and behaviorism, the newest field of investigation, NeuroLeadership, looks inside the brain to analyze what might affect leadership abilities. MRI technology has provided the breakthrough, because it maps brain functions in real time reacting to real stimuli. This paper discusses how neuroscience may affect four domains of leadership: decision-making and problem-solving, emotion regulation, collaboration and influence, and facilitating change. Of particular interest is the role of stress and its influence on change, collaboration, and memory.
A 2008 study showed that ‘improving leadership’ was the second most urgent human capital imperative for most companies’ business strategies. Up until now, most of the leadership theories evolved out of behavioral observations, or through social psychology research. It appears that this approach has not delivered what it was supposed to do. Recent developments within neuroscience have given people the ability to shed some new light on how the brain functions in real time. This new brain research may provide the missing link between leadership behavior and leadership development. Since 2007, there has been an effort to gather relevant neuroscience findings into a new field called ‘NeuroLeadership.’ NeuroLeadership explores the neuroscience underpinning four key leadership skills, called the four domains of NeuroLeadership. Using neuroscience to explain leadership issues now is happening across major corporate, government and non-profit organizations, including NASA, the National Defense University, Citibank, Microsoft and other firms around the globe.
People in leadership positions are often logical, analytical thinkers. But the human brain is a social organ. Its reactions are directly shaped by social interaction. Although work is often seen as economic transaction, in which people exchange labor for financial compensation, the brain experiences the workplace first and foremost as a social system. Indeed, the ability to intentionally address the social brain in the service of optimal performance will become a distinguishing leadership capability. Five social qualities enable leaders to minimize the threat response and enable the reward response: status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness, and fairness (SCARF). The SCARF model helps alert you to people’s core concerns and shows you how to calibrate your words and actions. The more practiced you are at reading yourself the more effective you will be.
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