Today’s leader can improve their ideal leadership styles by becoming more perceptive of the brain’s thought process and, as a result, better able to adjust it. A good leader means making the right decisions, especially under stress, and neuroscience it’s the exact tool they need. There is an old way of looking at and doing things relied on collecting data, looking at spreadsheets, and running numbers. Employers motivate staff with financial perks and bonuses, but only a few interactions with management remain.
As neuroscience enters the vast world of leadership development, studies show us that leadership basics might be different than we thought, and we may need to change the way we lead.
Because neuroscience is the key to understanding so many things within our working/ business culture. However, there are a few limitations to how far you can get with just neuroscience.
The benefit of neuroscience is that it offers a neutral space based on a strong scientific grounding, a strong validation to discuss the link between inner emotional experience, emotional life, focusing of attention, and then what we know as the executive brain, which is pretty much related with the executive function. The big word everyone talks about, of which business and neuroscience have in common – executive. And, what that actually means in both business and in neuroscience is planning, keeping your attention and focus on goal-orientated plans and hindering responses, especially the habitual ones that take you away from your long-term goals. That’s where business and neuroscience align.
If companies are looking for every edge to better their operations, is this one of them? Most businesses are under unprecedented pressure, and they’ve always been like that. However, this keeps getting even more difficult as life keeps getting more and more challenging, especially with the global environment.
Luckily, there are two ways of responding to that pressure and two ways of being a leader. You can choose to be negotiable: get things done, solve problems, please your customers, please your boss, make the right deals. You have to be that kind of leader.
But when you face ongoing challenges, which is perfectly natural in the world of business, you should find ways to move your business past its limits, past its threshold, to do things that you and your colleagues couldn’t do before. And that’s a strategic lead as they’re looking at long-term goals. To get there, you have to really think about the world around you, the people around you, and yourself in new different ways.
The increasing importance of social development at work
Our brain is a social organ. That means that we’re all born to connect. We can’t expect better results if we see those around as impersonal machines and employment as a world full of isolated tasks. Top leaders who have a deep understanding of neuroscience know the importance of:
- How the physical setting impacts productivity
- The interaction between emotions and thoughts
- Who we spend time with at work and the strength of relationships
- How different kinds of tasks impact productivity and the brain
A more effective way of leadership automatically requires understanding emotions, building relationships, and using empathy. This kind of social leadership can develop higher confidence, increased productivity and improved relationships.
Becoming aware of bias
Whether we like it or not, we all possess some form of bias. This year’s trend will resume to the rise of the topic and help individuals aware of these biases and the impact they have on performance. As soon as we realize our biases, we can start dealing with them and control their effects on our assumptions and behaviours. For this reason, online learning courses and leadership training are so imperative. It provides individuals with skills that can help them manage and recognize conscious and unconscious bias, its effect on team communication and its limitation of innovation and engagement.
An unconscious bias training should:
- Produce high-performance through leveraging the perspective, backgrounds of employees and team members, and diversity of thinking.
- Build an understanding of our reactions to differences in the workplace and unconscious bias, and the impact these have on our decision-making.
- Develop a new form of leadership behaviours, structural support and practices to maximize the benefits of diversity and build a more inclusive work environment.
A recent study done at Case Western Reserve University identified the relationship between effective leadership and resonance. As a leader, resonance means that a leader is empathic and also has a great emotional intelligence level. On the other hand, a dissonant style is more objective and authoritarian.
Why is resonant leadership important?
In reality, leaders do have little ability to directly regulate their teams. For this reason, they need to develop environments where people believe in a set of values and a mission that compels them to operate in a certain way. Resonant leadership allows them to nurture and design that environment. Therefore, by focusing on why and how they act, they send out their wavelength, which echoes throughout the organization, strikes a chord with employees and unites them behind a united goal.
It’s clear that resonant leadership requires a great level of emotional intelligence. Not only that, but you need to master empathy, self-awareness, great communication skills and authenticity. None of this is something that you can fake in the ever-competitive world of business. If you’re seeking the advantages of resonant leadership, you can just act as a resonant leader. However, this means you should start working on yourself before working on your team. It can take some time to wrap your mind around resonant leadership, but those that do see great results. You can reach people, motivate and support them in a scalable and powerful way. And, there are many different ways of engaging individuals in the process, but first, you need to find a different way of wanting to work on things. When you focus on that by yourself, that will resonate with others.