Leading with the Brain in Mind

Nasser Salehinia PhD| April 14th, 2020

Organizations spend significant resources for growth and development of their people to enhance productivity and ultimately their satisfaction. However, in most cases, the results are only superficial and short-lived.

According to a study published in the Harvard Business Review, ÔÇťOrganizations spend a lot of money each year to train and empower their managers and employees. In 2018 alone, US companies spent $160 billion, and nearly $356 billion globally on such trainings. "But these investments and efforts have not paid off well and have not led to better performance, because people are quickly returning to their old behaviors."

What is the main reason for the failure of these Approaches?

They fail because they only seek to change or correct the behavior of employees and ignore the main and hidden factor that generates behavior: the function of the brain and its impact on thoughts and feelings which quickly influence motivation, decision and action. It is through these three elements that we either generate the results we aim for, or not!

Given the fact that the roots of behavior are our thoughts and feelings, and the basis of both is how the brain functions; therefore, only when the working of the brain is improved in useful ways, then motivation, decision and action and well-being will follow. Only then we will achieve the results we have aimed for.

Why is Brain-based Skills Training Important?

At its most fundamental level organizations are a combination of humans who with the right guidance move to achieve specific and predefined outcomes. However, human relation challenges faced by managers on a daily basis adversely impact and significantly reduce their ability to lead effectively.

Stressors that often arise from unhelpful human interactions leading to certain reactions with undesirable outcomes for all involved. Factors such as constant and rapid change, complexities and unpredictable situations in the business environment also add extra pressure.

What organizations, whether leaders, managers or employees require are skills to assist them with decisive decision making, timely intervention and useful responsiveness.

These skills, which are the basis of success in any human undertaking, when approached using behavioral change methods, they quickly become ineffective because of rapid and unpredictable changes in working and living conditions. These skills, in order to deliver lasting results, must be learned through that which command our being, the brain.

The Role of the Brain

The brain is the creator of our thoughts and emotions which then command our motivations, decisions and behaviors. Familiarity with the function of this vital center, which determines our progress or lack of it, enables us to gain deeper insight into human nature. This helps us overcome challenges more easily, and paves the way for our own and others' progress, so that we can more easily achieve personal and organizational goals.

Self-Leadership is the Key

The impact of skills training on improving performance and productivity has been proven to be a fact, and its results can be seen in the world's leading organizations. Progress in any setting is directly related to a manager's ability to lead effectively. However, leaders must first learn to lead them self successfully before attempting to lead others. The reason is quite simple: employees subconsciously feel this capacity and are willing to follow only an authentic leader beyond his or her outward expression and claims. Therefore, if a manager is not able to lead himself effectively, leading and harmonizing others will be a difficult and fruitless task.

This is where brain-based skills at all levels of an organization become paramount. Relationships and cooperation between people become constructive when managers and employees of an organization are trained to better grasp the intricacies of human nature which is commanded by the brain. These skills improve key areas such as self-awareness, others awareness, introspection, cooperation and well-being, and replaces the common focus on troubleshooting, gaps and finger-pointing that destroy moral, performance and satisfaction.

Leading with an understanding of how the brain functions and influences us at so many essential levels enables us to achieve positive and lasting results. Achieving success in our personal life and organizational goals in the shortest possible time with the least amount of error.