Your Brain at Work
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Your Brain at Work

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It is possible not only to survive in today's overwhelming work environment, but to succeed in it - and still feel energised and accomplished at the end of the day. ...

It is possible not only to survive in today's overwhelming work environment, but to succeed in it - and still feel energised and accomplished at the end of the day.

Join this session of We Read For You, where Mary-Joe Emde presented Your Brain at Work, a book by David Rock that takes readers inside the heads - literally - of a modern married couple who both have careers as they mentally process their workday to reveal how we can better organise, prioritise and manage our daily lives.

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Your Brain at Work Your Brain at Work Presentation Transcript

  • David Rock: Your Brain at WorkWe Read For You – November 2010
  • Context of YBAW "•  Different acts featuring Emily and Paul•  Take 1 versus Take 2•  Real life examples•  The neuroscience behind Emily and Paul’s behaviors
  • Content YBAW" ACT 1: Problems and decisions ACT 2: Staying cool under pressure ACT 3: Collaborating with others ACT 4: Facilitating change
  • Content YBAW" ACT 1: Problems and decisions ACT 2: Staying cool under pressure ACT 3: Collaborating with others ACT 4: Facilitating change
  • Working memory limitations" Understand Decide Recall Memorize Inhibit
  • Working memory vs. hardwiring" Working memory Several pieces of information at once Versus Trillions of pieces of information
  • Working memory limitations" 1.  Energy intensive 2.  Small 3.  Serial 4.  Fussy
  • Working memory limitations"
  • Working memory limitations" “We have a limited bucket of resources for activities like decision making and impulse control, and when we use these up, we don’t have as much for the next activity.” Dr. Roy Baumeister
  • Three levels of thinking" Level 1: Deleting emails Level 2: Scheduling a meeting Level 3: Writing a pitch
  • Working memory exercise" 10 + 10 = ? 15 + 15 = ? 100 + 120 = ? 550 + 550 = ? ?????
  • The morning email overwhelm" •  Goldilocks inside us •  The Stage •  The actors
  • A project that hurts to think about" •  Stage is small •  To many maps competing •  Chunking •  Choose your actors carefully
  • Juggling five things at once" •  One role at a time •  Impact of doing to much •  Get audience involved – Basal Ganglia •  Order •  Attention
  • Saying no to distraction" •  Always on technology •  Internal distractions •  Novelty – Anterior Cingulate Cortex •  Ventrolateral Prefrontal Cortex
  • VoluntaryBrain signal Desire to move Movement Veto power 0.3 sec 0.2 sec Half a second Libet (1983)
  • The zone of peak performance" Inverted U Performance Arousal
  • The Zone of peak performance" •  Getting interested •  To much arousal is not a good •  Arousal is individual •  Just right - flow
  • Getting past the roadblock" •  Insights the engine of the economy •  Going unconscious •  Impasse •  Distant connections •  Awareness
  • Most problems arenʼt solved rationally" In the lab, 60% of problems are solved in a way that people can’t explain
  • Where do insights come from?" “…variables that improve the ability to detect weak associations may improve insight solving.” Mark Beeman, NeuroLeadership Journal, Edition 1
  • CRA problems" cracker - fly - fighter safety - cushion - point fish - mine - rush river - note - account water - mine - shaker home - sea – bed force - line - mail down - question - check
  • Content YBAW" ACT 1: Problems and decisions ACT 2: Staying cool under pressure ACT 3: Collaborating with others ACT 4: Facilitating change
  • Dr Daniel Siegal Hand model of the brain"
  • The skittish limbic system"
  • Limbic threat response" •  Psychological = physical threats •  Generalizes more •  Errs on the side of pessimism •  Impacts working memory •  Derailed by drama •  Drowning amid uncertainty (SCARF) •  Expectations out of control
  • Bad is stronger than good" Away Toward Reward Threat Run away – walk towards
  • Friedman & Förster
  • Over-arousal – derailed by drama" •  Reduction in resources •  Director goes missing •  Pessimism versus optimism
  • Uncertainty and Autonomy" •  The only certainty is more uncertainty •  Autonomy and the perception of control •  Making choices - reappraisal
  • How to stay cool…" 1.  Labeling 2.  Reappraisal 3.  Mindfulness
  • Expectations getting out of control" •  What you expect is what you experience •  Placebo •  Neurochemistry of under-promising •  Create the right expectations
  • Content YBAW" ACT 1: Problems and decisions ACT 2: Staying cool under pressure ACT 3: Collaborating with others ACT 4: Facilitating change
  • SCARF model"
  • SCARF model" Status – The battle for status Your brain is constantly monitoring your status in any group. It literally assigns you a number in that group. When you feel like you’re going up in status you start to feel some of the ‘toward’ emotions.
  • SCARF model" Certainty - Maintaining the status quo Any time we experience some uncertainty we get a limbic system response. In other words, we experience more of the ‘away’ emotions.
  • SCARF model" Autonomy The brain likes to predict and have a say in the future. When an individual feels there is some choice in a given situation, then they’re more likely to experience ‘toward’ emotions.
  • SCARF model" Relatedness – Turning enemies into friends When you connect with people you like or can trust you get a decrease in the stress hormone ‘cortisol’ and an injection of the ‘feel good’ hormone dopamine. In other words, you experience more ‘toward’ emotions.
  • SCARF model" Fairness – When everything seems unfair Everyone likes to feel that they have been dealt with in a fair manner. When we feel that we have been treated unfairly, for example in a pay review, we experience ‘away’ emotions.
  • Content YBAW" ACT 1: Problems and decisions ACT 2: Staying cool under pressure ACT 3: Collaborating with others ACT 4: Facilitating change
  • Attention changes the brain" The mental act of focusing attention holds in place brain circuits associated with what is focused on.
  • The problem with problems" Focusing on a problem hardwires it – stop thinking about a pink elephant
  • Attention changes the brain" Attention density: Quality and quantity of attention
  • The trouble with feedback - CPF vs. FPC" Constructive Performance Feedback Facilitating Positive Change
  • Change is hard" The power of focus Safety first SCARF Keeping attention
  • Attention changes the brain" Video Brainplacticity
  • Resources"Books:Quiet Leadership - David Rock (Collins, 2006)Coaching with the Brain in Mind - Rock & Page (Wiley, July 2009)Your Brain at Work - David Rock (Harper Business, October 2009)Other resources:www.NeuroLeadership.org - summit, graduate certificate, journalWorkplaceCoaching.com - brain-based coaching programsDavidRock.net - blog, interviews, audio, articles, research
  • Final insights and questions" What have been your main insights from today? What two things will you now do differently?