May 18, 2021

A New View

Myth #1: Brain cells die off as we age. Brain cells, or neurons don’t necessarily die. In fact, neurogenesis is the process of expanding neurons as we age. Myth #2: Brain development ceases in childhood or early adolescence. It’s true the greatest neural development occurs in our youth. However, we can continue to build mental capacity as we age. Myth #3: We can’t change our brain or who we  are. There are steps we can take to maintain and enhance our brain health, or cognitive fitness. Rodney Gilkey and Clint Kilts describe these steps in a Harvard Business Review article […]
December 17, 2020

Seven Brain-Based Tips for Better Performance Management

Companies started throwing out performance rating scales and stopped ranking people from best to worst more than ten years ago. The first lesson learned is conversations about compensation and conversations about performance improvement are two different conversations. Companies that still combine these conversations spend too much time looking backward. Tip #1: The compensation conversation stands alone. Compensation is based on the contribution to the company. That contribution is defined by the execution of the position’s purpose, the well-written job description. Performance standards should clearly define the expectations and behaviors.  Tip #2: Mitigate biases. There are so many ways bias creeps […]
November 10, 2020

Never Give Up, Never Give In

Most people initially react to adverse life events with a sense of uneasiness and negativity, but over time seem to adapt. People somehow “bounce back” from tragedy and trauma. Early resilience researchers Garmezy and Masten defined resilience as the process of, capacity for, or outcome of successful adaptation despite challenging circumstances. Resilience is measured by how quickly and strongly we respond to adversity. There is a difference between resiliency and resilience. Ego resiliency is a set of traits of resourcefulness, sturdiness of character, and flexibility in response to circumstances. Resiliency signifies a personality trait. Masten cautioned against using the term […]
May 25, 2020

Supporting Employee Emotions

David Rock, Ph.D. coined the acronym SCARF which stands for Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness and Fairness. These are the five domains that influence us emotionally, much of the time as a threat. Leaders can mitigate the impact of SCARF threats by creating some SCARF rewards. Status Common status threats include not being able to influence work decisions, feeling one’s opinions or concerns are minimized, being a target of sarcasm or ridicule, and feeling disrespected. Leaders can work to diminish this threat through soliciting employee concerns and perspectives, active listening, demonstrating vulnerability (I’m having a hard time with this, too) and […]