Blog

January 13, 2020

Bad Trumps Good

Threat is more powerful than reward because our brains are designed to keep us safe. Studies show the avoid (threat) response generates more arousal, more quickly and lasts longer than the approach (reward) response. The limbic system within the brain controls our emotions. It can process information within a fifth of a second before it reaches conscious awareness. It remembers whether something should be avoided or approached. We may consider this intuition. It is reflex designed for survival. Physical and social pains produce similar responses. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) shows the same areas of the brain are stimulated whether the […]
December 9, 2019

Why Goals Fail

There are a number of goal setting practices. SMART published in 1981 is still used today. Defining Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Bound aspects of the goal is still a popular model. SMART, as well as other goal-setting models use information to develop a clear statement of intention.  These models often fail because they don’t answer “why.”  Knowing why makes it emotional, it ties to who we are and want to be. It’s been determined that people have a trait to be either approach-motivated or avoidance-motivated. People who are approach-motivated may exercise to be fit; while those avoidance-motivated may exercise […]
November 11, 2019

Get Out of the Way and Lead

Most leaders have been thinking for others for decades; knowing what is best; leading and directing others. That is what leaders do.  Recent neuroscience wants to rock that boat.  A new set of leadership skills includes giving people mental space to think for themselves and helping people simplify their thinking. Leaders can start noticing the qualities of others’ thinking and help them make their own connections. That is not to say leaders can’t establish goals and boundaries. It does say leaders must allow people to come up with their solutions rather than provide advice. An exercise in David Rock’s book, […]
September 23, 2019

Kindness Pays

People should be treated with basic kindness. The way we treat each other establishes our relationships. People don’t need a reason to be kind. Yet kindness has a powerful impact.  Kindness generates connectivity and trust. Research has shown kindness increases productivity, prosocial behaviors and can even improve health.  The Association of Professional Executives of the Public Service of Canada (APEX) conducted a comprehensive study which revealed shocking comparisons between the most civil teams and the least civil teams. Respectful teams possess 26% more energy; 30% increase in feelings of vitality and are 30% more motivated and likely to acquire new […]