A Review of Neuroscience-Based Assessment Tools

There is no shortage of brilliant Neuroscience research, which can be both exciting and overwhelming. The sheer amount of new findings is sometimes difficult to consume. After certifying and training hundreds of change leaders we've learned that it can often be unclear how to apply this new knowledge in ways that provides value in real world-settings (hopefully this article will help on that front). The purpose of this article is to review one specific application area where Neuroscience findings have crystalized into powerful, tangible application models: assessment tools. In particular, I'll review and compare three neuroscience-based assessment tools, looking at their significant contribu

A Great HBR Article about Unlearning

Haven't run into many great articles about Unlearning out there, but this one is totally full of great illustrations: "In the area of organizational design, we are seeing an evolution from formal hierarchies to fluid networks. But this requires a substantial amount of unlearning. Our instincts are to think of an organization as an org chart. We automatically escalate decisions to the boss. I often hear executives talk about being “more networked,” but what they really mean is collaborating across the silos. To truly become a networked organization, you need decision principles that create both alignment and autonomy. But this requires unlearning in the areas of management, leadership, and go

Paul Brown and Neuroscience's Place in Change Facilitation

Neuroscience: "It looks like over the next 10-20 years this is going to be the area of knowledge which coaches are going to have to know, if they are going to work in a high level, professionally responsible kind of way." Paul Brown (an expert in the application of neuroscience in organisations and executive coaching) about the perspective of The Association for Coaching on this new emerging field. Click here to watch video What do you think about this statement?

Biases and Resistance to Change

An amazingly detailed list of our human biases...all making change difficult in one way or another (and can be seen in how we respond to discomfort associated with change). The sooner you identify these and provide people with skills to respond more effectively, the better. Thanks to Jay Van Bavel for reminding me of its existence :)

Neurosciences Institute: Stanford University

Fabulous article by Stanford University's Neuroscience Institute about Growth Mindset - not just about what it is (understanding it is vital and allows us to design coaching, training, and other change efforts to provide great insight) - but just as important, starting to ask critical questions about how to shift someone in fixed mindset to growth mindset (it seems to be my theme for this month :)). A few fabulous quotes: - "At the time, the suggested cure for learned helplessness was a long string of successes. Dweck posited that the difference... lay in people’s beliefs about why they had failed." (so not just changing experiences - but also the meaning we assign them). -“shift the emphasi

Applying Neuroscience to "Debug"​ Difficult Change

As change leaders, when it comes to difficult change, we try to do everything we can to prepare for smooth and seamless transformation and implementation. Studying Neuroscience suggests that there are a few more "bugs" we can clear out of the way if we want to spend a little more time up front to save a huge amount of time and needless complications down the road... Imagine this, it's one of those big holidays and you are hosting family and friends for dinner. In this scenario you are the planning-controlling type and you really want everything to go smoothly. You plan out and tell your guests about your vision for the meal, you outline the courses and give everyone a detailed description of

Looking at Resistance to Change from a Neuroscience Perspective

We're used to thinking about resistance to change as a by-product of fear of the unknown or a response to perceived threat. There is a third and equally powerful cause for resistance we should be aware of from a Neuroscience perspective. As change leaders, we've known for a long time that people experience discomfort because of unknown and threatening elements of change. As a result, we've become experts in how to minimize threat. Not that we always get to practice what we know, but when we do, we try to create effective communication and design change to reduce threat in areas that are most important to people like autonomy and a sense of fairness. When people resist change, what are they r

Unlearning: As Easy as Learning How to Ride a Bike

A few years ago Greg Flickinger shared a wonderful video with me that beautifully illustrates the concept of Unlearning. Achieving new outcomes is often about correctly identifying and altering deep thinking and emotional habits (including beliefs, response patterns, thinking patterns, tendencies, attitudes etc.) that need to be replaced with new, more effective thinking and emotional habits. This quick video illustrates why this process is difficult and Neuroscience allows us to guide people through it quickly and smoothly. Click here to watch video Can you think of a change situation that requires Unlearning? What did people need to unlearn to achieve desired outcomes?

Perfectionism as Resistance to Change

We don't often think of perfectionism as a type of resistance to change, but according to a new definition of resistance (thanks to new science) we can now better support people to overcome it to remove change obstacles. Here's a quick video about perfectionism from a Neuroscience perspective and applications to supporting people who suffer from Trauma (great fan of this blog btw). Quickly identifying perfectionism as well as other "invisible" types of resistance to change and providing people with skills to overcome these types of resistance early on in the coaching process can make a huge difference in making difficult change simple! To read more about it: Click here

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