LEADERSHIP BY DESIGN - MODULE 13
Understand how the brain functions and the way it influences leadership activity and gain the knowledge to strategically plan to maximise your leadership brain’s capabilities.
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How did you get on with your energy levels? Hopefully, you are rested and full of energy. Mentally and physically ready for the next segment which is exactly what you need to have because we’re going to do something which is perhaps, a little bit challenging, a bit different than many other programs of this sort of nature. And what we’re going to be doing is talking about your brain. We’re going to be talking about the gray matter, and we’re going to be talking about how your brain works so that you can harness your brain power to best effect and understand how other people’s brains work so you can get the most out of them.
So in this segment, we’re going to talk just about the brain, and how the brain is structured. And then we’ll go on to talk about how some of the modern lessons that come from Euro-Science research can be applied so that we can change the way we behave, and we can structure how we interact with others to get the most out of them.
So, let’s start with the brain and how the brain is structured. The brain is a very complex device, really. I mean, evolutionary terms consist of many different parts, which have grown up over a long, long period of time. And we’re particularly interested in the oldest parts of the brain, the limbic system and the amygdala, and the most modern, in evolutionary terms, which is the prefrontal cortex.
The prefrontal cortex is the and the front of your head. And this is the part which is responsible for rational and logical thinking. And a lot of you who work in a business setting is going to be using your prefrontal cortex.
The older parts of your brain, the amygdala and the limbic system are the parts of the brain which actually are always looking for threats. They’re the part of the brain that’s responsible for the fight or flight response. You know, you’ve heard of that. It’s the part of the brain that’s listening for the rustle in the bushes that might be the tiger that’s coming to attack you. And which then triggers you into an instantaneous decision on whether you’re going to fight the threat or run away from it.
But what modern research tells us is that’s not something that just switches on any time of great stress. It’s an always on function. Our brain is always listening for threats, always looking for threats. And something else research tells us is that we perceive threats in a sensual setting as significantly as we do with physical threats. So we can treat a social threat, a threat to us within a group of people in the same way as if that tiger really were charging at us. And this has profound implications for the way we look to motivate people and to avoid demotivating them.
Now when we have that response triggered, what happens is the brain’s resources get devoted to those old, primitive parts of the brain, and taken away from the newer parts. So suddenly, we stop using the prefrontal cortex. Rational thought goes out the window, and we start to behave in a very simplistic way, because we’re looking to make big, bold decisions about whether to fight or run. And this part of the brain is much less efficient, and this is why when we’re angry, we tend to say and do things we might later regret. So, what we want to do is to be able to control that, so that we don’t do those things, and we retain the prefrontal cortex engaged and thinking all the time.
So today, it’s all about learning about the brain and how the brain works, and then in the next segment, we’ll start to talk about how you might start to harness those lessons and a few more lessons besides that come from that modern Euro-Science.
So, happy reading, and do as you go to work, think about whether you’re in a threat situation, and how you’re perceiving that. So, a little bit of time for awareness, as well as a little bit of reading. All the best.