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You’ll find the 20% of leadership information that produces 80% of leadership results in this newsletter. This is well-researched leadership information that, when consistently implemented, will produce bottom-line results.

Whole Brain Leadership

Exciting leadership news is coming from-- neuroscience! Stop for a second. How did you respond to the word “neuroscience?” Did your eyes glaze over? Did you think, “Finally, some science behind all this fuzzy stuff.” Or did you think, “Yahoo! I love those pictures where the brain lights up in different colors!”

However you responded, it highlights one of three central findings. Expectation shapes reality. You get what you expect to get. A customer service rep who believes almost everyone is a decent person will treat people decently thus reinforcing his or her own perception. On the other hand, a customer service rep who believes people are whiny children will pay attention to the few who are, thus reconfirming his or her expectation.

The key question is, how do we get that customer service rep to change? Because of the way the brain physically handles experiences and memories, the way to get the rep to change is to lead the person to have a moment of insight that shifts the mental map. In terms of brain biology, the insight must come from the customer service rep before any change will occur. Therefore, leaders must recognize, encourage and deepen their team’s insights.

Ok, I have an insight, so what? As we all know, a single insight may or may not change us. Continuing with the service rep, let’s say she has a flash of insight. “Oh, wow, I feel bad. That customer was dealing with the same kinds of problems I have, so he must be a reasonable person like me.” The rep’s brain just experienced an energy rush. If the rep pays attention to that energy, thinks about the insight and decides to modify her attitude, she is experiencing self-directed neuroplasticity. She is changing her own brain to accommodate the new mental map.

With insight and energy our rep is now at a teachable moment. For change to happen, we and/or our team need to provide focus for the insight. Focus is power. When we reinforce the helpful insight, we provide focus. The most effective way to focus is on reaching the goal, NOT on solving the problem. In this case, the goal is for the service rep to treat each customer as a valued contributor.

In a broader leadership sense, the best way to focus power and energy is to focus on positive goals. When we do that we literally shift probability in the direction of that which we wish to achieve. Paying attention to goals keeps the brain circuits supporting action toward goals alive and well. Eventually those circuits become part of the physical structure of our brains. We become hard wired to meet those goals.

This newsletter draws on the work of David Rock and Jeffrey Schwartz. They have written a number of excellent articles and books. For more information, http://www.neuroleadership.com/global/home

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