What has brain science got to do with Management Training?

by | Aug 25, 2011 | Management

Educational Content about the role of Neuroscience in Management.

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I’m Amy Brann from Synaptic Potential.com. What can brain awareness bring to management training? Management trainings are all about learning to manage people. Brain awareness is all about how the brain and mind works. Managing people becomes hugely more easy if we understand how the brain works. Brain awareness brings a sense of ease and a sense of smoothness to management training. Without understanding how the brain and mind works in people then will be fumbling around in the dark to a certain degree.

Experiences tell us that we’re also working on what we just think to be the right thing to do in any given situation. For example, if you’re managing someone that you’ve never managed before the tendency maybe to manage them in a way that you would like to be managed because you think that’s how people work and that’s how you work. This is one of the biggest challenges to overcome in training from a management perspective is that people think that one way will work and managing people can be done in one way. Managing people is about being flexible and coming to where they’re at and working to where they’re at rather than to find a prescription or on one size fits all type of approach.

In brain awareness, take for example, when you’re managing someone and they’re being unproductive and maybe you don’t know what exactly is going on but something gives you the data and information that this person may be afraid. If someone’s afraid it is hugely overwhelming in brain terms and this person can be almost paralyzed which is bound to have an impact on productivity. I’m talking in exaggerated terms and obviously in normal day to day life you don’t see people paralyzed with fear. But the decrease in efficiency in the brain is still there, and this costs companies money.

What’s actually going on in our brain can be getting towards to a form of paralysis and in terms of a person taking normal action and getting the normal results that you’re wanting from them.

If you are to do anything other than reduce the fear and ideally remove that fear then a person’s not going to return to that level of productivity that you want to have. If you’re trying to distract them, giving them something to focus on, trying to give them a different task and if you are trying to be encouraging then all of these things are very good things from a management perspective.

Most old school management trainings would encourage this. But without the brain awareness and without knowing what’ going on at that particular moment then you can’t get the results that you’re looking for because you’ll be using a substandard approach.

A classic management training analogy is that someone has got a hammer and they see everything as a nail and they just want to hammer all of the nails with the hammer. In this case, you may have many tools but without knowing what is going on you may find yourself just trying all the different tools. It will be time consuming and demotivating to keep having a trial & error. Will this make the way that you want them to perform? Will this make them do the things that we need them to do? Will this help to increase their productivity?

It can be very time intensive, energy draining and unrewarding for the manager to keep trying these different things and none of them seem to be working. If a brain based approach is taken and people are educated through their management training in how to identify what’s going on for a person then they’re far more likely be able to get the end result because they’ll know in a very short space of time what they need to do with the person and what tool would they need to use in order to help the person move forward. In a case of fear you absolutely need to reduce the fear before you got a chance of doing anything else with the individual.

Good management trainings today will empower managers with the knowledge of how to do this.
Amy Brann
SynapticPotential.com
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