Integrating new technologies to empower learning and transform leadership Leadership: Why the Brain Matters
Brain – the engine
The car is the physical body
The mind is the driver
The Plastic Paradox
Neuroplasticity has the power to produce more flexible but also more rigid behaviours.
Norman Doidge ‘The Brain That Changes Itself’ pxvi
The way we talk, interact or do anything is mostly hardwired therefore habitual. Habits are literally unconscious to us.
The stress response
An away state or a toward state
Decrease threat and increase reward by enhancing…
The balcony and the dance floor
“ In most people, the question ‘can I offer you some feedback’ generates the same impact as fast footsteps behind you at night. ” -David Rock
Reduction in status through being left out lights up the same parts of the brain as does physical pain.
Pay attention to incremental improvements as well as large goals
Opportunities for people to learn and improve and pay attention to this
Acknowledge people publically
Allow people to give themselves feedback on their own performance
Provide opportunities for staff to challenge their own performance – compete with themselves
Give regular positive feedback
Placement to frame the meeting
Setting the scene
How long you’d like to speak for
What your goal for the conversation is
What you would like them to do in the conversation
How you would like them to listen
What’s going to happen in the conversation
What you’re looking to achieve from the dialogue
David Rock, Quiet Leadership, (2006:20)
What was great about what they did?
What effort did they need to put in?
What challenges did they face?
How does it impact on them, others, the organisation?
How to encourage self-feedback
What were six things you did really well?
What are three things did you learn about yourself?
What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
What would you do differently next time?
This develops the teacher inquiry process
What are you currently doing?
What connections have you made?
What are the implications?
How can you adapt this for your environment?
Clarity of expectations and security or organisational structure –
Identify central goals –display and refer to
Create plans, strategies with people and keep these visible
Break down complex projects into small parts
Be explicit eg about meeting times, due dates, when more information can be provided
Provide a clear outline of what is being learnt
Provide examples and time to practice skills
These are important strategies when change is in the pipeline
Develop policies and procedures that allow for creativity and autonomy to be hard-wired in the organisation
Delegate where possible, allowing decision making to be made at the point of need
Find ways to take actions when challenges seem insurmountable – possibilities thinking
Ownership… Increases Decreases ZONE OF INDIFFERENCE Use of authority by the leader Area of freedom for staff Low involvement High involvement Participation Decide & Announce Gather input from individuals & decide Gather input from team & decide Consensus Delegate decision with criteria Colleague’s job efficiency level Q4 -You decide - call me if you need assistance Q3 We’ll discuss & we’ll decide Q2 We’ll discuss & I’ll decide Q1 I’ll decide … and delegation Consider career stages (Huberman), thinking preferences(Herrmann) and the unique circumstances surrounding the individual’s needs at the time. www.thinkbeyond.co.nz Cheryl Doig 2008
Reasons for not delegating
Why don’t we delegate?
“ Here’s two options that might work. Which do you prefer?”
Allow opportunities for self-directed learning and autonomy
Provide flexibility in work arrangements where this is feasible (in the school situation student needs must come first though)
If you don’t receive the messenger you won’t receive the message
Provide safe connections through establishment of norms of working, ground rules
Skills in inquiry and advocacy; facilitation and listening
Provide buddy systems, mentoring and coaching, action learning teams
Provide opportunities for staff to collaborate with others, share stories, photos, social networking sites.
Encourage sharing and social connections
Have clear expectations and ground rules for all – co-create these
Facilitate feedback mechanisms – workloads, sharing of tasks, follow-up
Walking the talk in line with the values and vision of the organisation
Consistency in approach and treatment of people
Provide opportunity to do volunteer work/be part of global projects – to decrease unfairness in the world
Transparency – communicate, communicate, communicate. Involve them in processes, provide details of financial processes.
Look at things from a variety of perspectives when planning
Herrmann’s Whole Brain Processing Model… Facts/data Opportunities to challenge/debate Organise resources Agenda/planning/timeframes Expectations Focus Big picture/vision Pace Humour/fun Flexibility Opportunity to share/interaction Respectful dialogue
You can’t change someone else
Good leaders create conditions where people move toward rather than away from change
Rock, D. (2008) SCARF: A brain-based model for collaborating with and influencing others. In Neuroleadership Journal Issue 1 2008. www.NeuroLeadership.com