Month: September 2014

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Neuroscience Based Leadership: How to overcome the human resistance to change

Leadership - Overcome Human Resistance to ChangeEffective leadership at all levels is critical for success, however, the human resistance to change can be quite complex. While leadership and management changes have been greatly challenged over the years, neuroscientific findings have helped shed some light on the underlying effectiveness of leadership and change management practices as they relate to planning and implementing operative leadership programs.

Leaders are needed to motivate people of all ages and at all levels. Regardless if it’s a manger leading a coworker, a teacher leading a student or a life coach leading a family, everyone requires effective leadership. For years, successful leaders have recognized that engagement is one of the best predictors to success when it comes to positive change.

Research has uncovered some interesting scientific findings that are shown to better help people understand and “get on board” with what it takes to inspire others to become actively invested and involved in personal learning. Improved learning outcomes for children, adolescents and families greatly enhance human elements such as problem solving, collaboration with others, decision making, facilitating change and emotional regulation. It can also help promote resiliency when new changes arise, as well as influence innovation and creative thinking.

Although change is uncomfortable for a lot of people, Neuro-leaders who are aware of unique challenges of involving people and change, are the best-suited type of leaders for developing new solutions to long-standing problems. This is because they are willing to take the necessary risks and collectively think in a different format due to their understanding of what drives human behavior and motivation.

In more traditional coaching, neuroscientific findings reveal that most of what people implement as ways of changing have actually resulted in counter productiveness, in that people – children, adolescents, adults, coaches, teachers, counselors, families – ended up with the opposite result of what they needed to improve their outcome. Take for example a parent who relies on threats to motivate their teenager or a manager who uses intimidation to influence coworkers. In both situations, these older or perhaps more traditional methods of leadership are shown to be extremely ineffective because the people involved will become disengaged.

On the other hand, using neuroscience leadership methods by people in trusted places of authority and influence have shown the most favorable outcomes. Treating people fairly, providing them with options, promoting their creativity and insight and giving them opportunities to make decisions results in more resourceful thinking and thus, positive change.

 


 

Author: Divya Parekh (ACC, CPC, LL, MS) is an international career leadership coach, Head Career Coach at International Coach Academy, and CEO of The DP Group. She assists executives, professionals, coaches and students plan, develop and achieve their career and leadership goals. She has been recognized by Worldwide Who’s Who as ‘VIP of the Year’ for showing dedication, leadership and excellence in leadership coaching. She has also been recognized by NAPW as a ‘VIP Woman of the 2014 Year’ for outstanding leadership and commitment in coaching. She is founder of the 1/1/1 Leader Project. The project prides itself on being simple. Set a goal. Work towards achieving it. Give someone a smile. Be nice to another person. Make the world a little bit nicer. It’s free so get started today!

Article References:

http://www.cmhconference.com/index.php/agenda/2014-agenda?id=45

http://www.cmhnetwork.org/media-center/morning-zen/the-neuroscience-of-leadership-in-systems-of-care

 

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Can Neuroscience Make You a Better Leader?

Neuroscience Studies Identify Leadership QualitiesOver the past few decades, advancements in neuroscience have been used to hone in on the functioning of perfectly healthy individuals. A field of study typically used in brain trauma and disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Neuroscience studies are now being used to identify individual leadership qualities.

Information systems professor Pierre Balthazard from W. P. Carey School of Business, explains that during research, “We are looking at the positive psychology aspect of neuroscience. This is similar to what the clinicians and therapists have been doing but in a different direction. We take the God-given talent of an individual, and we tweak it or optimize it for certain functions.”

The field of cognitive neuroscience, an area of study that aims to understand social, neural and cognitive human interactions, has grown widely over the past decade. Both fields of organizational neuroscience and leadership neuroscience are interdisciplinary fields that involve psychology, information systems, and management science and are areas that are gaining worldwide academic acceptance.

These new areas of study are providing a useful supplement, not a replacement, to a more traditional methods of leadership development approaches. Results from this type of research are being used to develop better leaders by honing in on specialized skills and improving on other areas where leaders are weak. Balthazard says, “To me, these are weaknesses that are not necessarily abnormal or clinical but are leadership characteristics that could be improved upon. If individuals can improve these areas, then their leadership would certainly improve, and I would venture a guess that the organization as a whole would benefit.”

While some view this method of neuroscience as being new and unorthodox, the fact is the practice of psychometric testing has been around for many years. One of the most commonly known (and accepted) versions of psychometric testing are personality tests. The same form of personality testing that is used by corporations, grade schools and universities, employers, day camps, travel companies and even online dating sites.

While every organization that uses personality tests does so in order to connect or correctly match people to a school, a team, a job position, a company, or a life partner, neuroscience leadership can also be used as a way to improve leadership abilities and in turn, connect or match people with their strong points.

When combined with what we already know about personalities, Balthazard explains, “What we do is just a more efficient and effective way of doing what the brain does naturally. When you read a textbook, you are creating new neural pathways. What we’re doing does not change the person. We are making the brain more in tune with what it needs to be in order to learn a new thing more efficiently.”

 


 

Author: Divya Parekh (PCC, CPC, LL, MS) is an international business relationship and leadership coach,  speaker and author, and CEO of The DP Group. She assists executives, professionals, coaches and students plan, develop and achieve their personal, professional and financial goals. She has been recognized by Worldwide Who’s Who as ‘VIP of the Year’ for showing dedication, leadership, and excellence in leadership coaching. NAPW has also recognized her as a ‘VIP Woman of the 2014 Year’ for outstanding leadership and commitment in coaching. She is the founder of the 1/1/1 Leader Project. The project prides itself on being simple. Set a goal. Work towards achieving it. Give someone a smile. Be kind to another person. Make the world a little bit nicer. It’s free so get started today!

Article References:

http://knowledge.wpcarey.asu.edu/article.cfm?articleid=1997

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The Mind Body Connection: Learning how emotions affect your health

Emotions - Mind / Body ConnectionMany people have never given thought to the idea that happiness is determined more by state of mind than external events. It’s not necessarily about what happens, but is instead about how it’s dealt with it. Many people don’t realize that this mind/body connection is directly related to their emotions and their well being.

People with good emotional health feel good about themselves. They enjoy healthy relationships, are aware of their thoughts, feelings and behaviors, and have learned healthy ways to deal with the normal stresses of life. Events such as a divorce, a job loss, having children leave home, financial problems and death and illnesses can leave people feeling strong sensations of stress, sadness or anxiety.

On the other hand, even good events can have an impact that results in a disruption of their emotional health. Having a new baby, getting a job promotion, moving to a new home or city, or getting married can be just as stressful as life’s negative events.

 

What is a mind / body connection?

When the body physically reacts to emotional events, this is called the mind/body connection. It is common for life-sized events to cause the body react to the way people respond to their feelings, thoughts and actions. Some common mind/body reactions include stomach ulcers and high blood pressure, however, the list of health-related emotional reactions is much longer.

People suffering poor emotional health, meaning people who become easily stressed, angered, saddened, anxious or generally upset during difficult times, tend to have weakened immune systems. This weakened immune system makes it easier to get sick, catch colds and even infections. Furthermore, when people feel tired, stressed or anxious, they are less likely to take care of themselves. This is generally a time when it becomes more difficult to exercise, eat healthy or take prescription medication and instead, leads people to abuse other means of dealing with their off-kilter emotional balance.  Unbalanced

How to create emotional balance

It’s possible to improve emotional health by first recognizing these emotions and understanding them. Emotionally unbalanced people need to set time aside to sort through the cause of their sadness, anxiety or stresses, beginning the forward step to managing their emotional health. Other tips for emotional improvement include:

Let it out: It’s important to express feelings and not keep them bottled up inside. Keeping things pent up often leads to even more emotional imbalances.

Aim for a balanced life: When dealing with negative issues try to focus on positive events instead. This is not to say ignore negative feelings, but instead, try not to obsess about problems. Focusing on the positive things is a way to help bring inner happiness and peace when dealing with undesirable problems.

Calm yourself: This could be an ideal time to start exercising, beginning yoga classes or other forms of meditation.

Good emotional health means taking care of yourself. It means ensuring healthy eating, regular exercise, enough sleep and implementing a regular routine, which will go a long way to relieving pent-up tensions.

 


 

Author: Divya Parekh (ACC, CPC, LL, MS) is an international career leadership coach, Head Career Coach at International Coach Academy, and CEO of The DP Group. She assists executives, professionals, coaches and students plan, develop and achieve their career and leadership goals. She has been recognized by Worldwide Who’s Who as ‘VIP of the Year’ for showing dedication, leadership and excellence in leadership coaching. She has also been recognized by NAPW as a ‘VIP Woman of the 2014 Year’ for outstanding leadership and commitment in coaching. She is founder of the 1/1/1 Leader Project. The project prides itself on being simple. Set a goal. Work towards achieving it. Give someone a smile. Be nice to another person. Make the world a little bit nicer. It’s free so get started today!

Article References:

http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/prevention-wellness/emotional-wellbeing/mental-health/mind-body-connection-how-your-emotions-affect-your-health.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1456909/

 

 

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Does Employee Well Being Predict Employee Performance?

Employee PErformanceHave you ever given thought to the idea that perhaps you could (or would) do better if you felt better? Many people have given thought to this concept, and for good reason. As America’s job demands increase, employees continue to feel the burden of keeping up, often without any incentive or rewards for their extra effort. The result of this effort overload has been poor employee performance.

It’s been noted that lower levels of employee well being are responsible for about 33 percent of unsatisfactory business performances. These higher demands and lower performances have left many companies wondering how to get these two key elements aligned. One common solution is to improve employee well being.

Over the past few decades, numerous studies show that employee well being is directly related to employee performance. As a matter of fact, improving employee well being has shown an average return of business benefits on a 3:1 ratio, not only for general workers, but also for those at the top.

Extensive evidence shows that employees with higher levels of well being are more energetic, focused and positive. They are also more resilient and resourceful in how they work, thus producing significant performance gains. Not only that, employees with higher levels of well being have much lower levels of absence, illnesses, workplace accidents and disputes and conflicts with coworkers. Some evidence even shows that employee well being is more strongly correlated with performance than with job satisfaction.

Companies that implement even modest improvements of 10 percent in employee productivity gain an equivalent of 23 more working days a year instead of the current average of seven days of absenteeism. PwCalso conducted a major research project that showed for every $1 spent on employee well being, the company gained about $3 in cost saving performance gains.

For everyone, whether you’re a company or a worker, it may be worth noting that the largest untapped source of increased performance and competitive advantages may just well be in employee well being.

 


Author: Divya Parekh (ACC, CPC, LL, MS) is an international career leadership coach, Head Career Coach at International Coach Academy, and CEO of The DP Group. She assists executives, professionals, coaches and students plan, develop and achieve their career and leadership goals. She has been recognized by Worldwide Who’s Who as ‘VIP of the Year’ for showing dedication, leadership and excellence in leadership coaching. She has also been recognized by NAPW as a ‘VIP Woman of the 2014 Year’ for outstanding leadership and commitment in coaching. She is founder of the 1/1/1 Leader Project. The project prides itself on being simple. Set a goal. Work towards achieving it. Give someone a smile. Be nice to another person. Make the world a little bit nicer. It’s free so get started today!

Article References:

http://media.gallup.com/DOCUMENTS/whitePaper–Well-BeingInTheWorkplace.pdf

http://www.wellbeingwizard.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=415&Itemid=196

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Career Stress and Well Being: Are they interrelated?

Stressed: Career Stress and Well BeingA recent Gallup report announced that 70 percent of Americans are either disengaged or miserable in their workplace. As the North American job industry remains governed by uncertainty its employees remain highly stressed … which explains Gallup’s findings.

Employees find themselves in work overload with stagnant salaries, increasing bills and a lack of career advancement. While 70 percent of America’s employees are unhappy with their workplace, 65 percent admit their jobs are a significant source of stress, one third of which, are chronically stressed.

This coincides with numerous studies that have repeatedly found that job stress — as in occupational pressures and fears — is the major source of stress for American adults; a level of pressure that continues to escalate progressively. This level of job stress has been linked with increased rates of hypertension, heart attacks and other health disorders.

A NIOSH Report shows that three quarters of workers believe that today’s employees have more on-the-job stress than the generation of workers before them. As a matter of fact, job stress is associated with health complaints more frequently than family or financial problems. A startling finding revealed that 42 percent of America’s stressed workers admit they are in the dark when it comes to dealing with the stress, in that they need help learning how to manage their workplace pressures.

Occupational tensions are also affecting the mental capacities of many workers. According to the American Institute of Stress, 25 percent of employees say they have felt like shouting or screaming at a coworker, while 14 percent admit they wanted to strike a fellow coworker. Another 10 percent say they are aware of violence or an assault that has occurred in the workplace and that 18 of workers fell victim to some type of threat or verbal abuse over the last 12 months.

Workplace stress has become a significant concern as more than 62 percent of workers experience neck pain; 44 percent have stressed-out eyes; 38 percent deal with aching hands; 34 percent experience insomnia due workplace stress. More than 12 percent of employees call in sick because of job pressures while overall, more than half of workers say they often spend 12 or more hours completing work-related duties and skip lunch because of job demands.

When considering a new career, it’s important to choose an employer that offers employee programs such as stress management, work-life initiatives, career advancement programs, telecommunicating and flexibility, all of which are proven to contribute to the wellbeing of workers. Remember that career success is not only defined by the metrics of power and money, but also — and perhaps even more importantly — by employee happiness and performance.

 


 

Author: Divya Parekh (ACC, CPC, LL, MS) is an international career leadership coach, Head Career Coach at International Coach Academy, and CEO of The DP Group. She assists executives, professionals, coaches and students plan, develop and achieve their career and leadership goals. She has been recognized by Worldwide Who’s Who as ‘VIP of the Year’ for showing dedication, leadership and excellence in leadership coaching. She has also been recognized by NAPW as a ‘VIP Woman of the 2014 Year’ for outstanding leadership and commitment in coaching. She is founder of the 1/1/1 Leader Project. The project prides itself on being simple. Set a goal. Work towards achieving it. Give someone a smile. Be nice to another person. Make the world a little bit nicer. It’s free so get started today!

Article References:

Workplace Stress

http://www.worklifenation.com/2013/10/how-well-being-work-stress-and-workplace-culture-carries-weight-in-career/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2013/12/30/7-reasons-stress-well-being-made-noise-at-work-in-2013/

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Linking Emotional Intelligence, Neuroscience and Leadership

While emotional intelligence has been linked to neuroscience, it has also been linked to leadership abilities. Numerous research studies continue to connect high employee engagement and positive emotions to high performance in the workplace. This, researchers feel, is due to emotional intelligence, or, as it’s also known, emotional control.

Emotional self-awareness is a learned skill. It’s a skill that involves being able to understand your own emotions and then apply this understanding to outside situations, normally situations that involve people. Instead of lashing out or becoming angry with coworkers, for example, successful leaders have learned how to control their emotions by utilizing effective communication.

The level of communication used to keep a stressful situation under control is a skill that has been detected by the study of neuroscience. Viewing neuroscience as a form of positive psychology is another way understand how these three concepts are related. Leaders who practice positive psychology express themselves in more controlled, calm manners. Instead of allowing themselves to become negative, they have the ability, the learned ability, to take the reins and gain control, thus preventing a potentially explosive situation from becoming an internal riot.

Possessing such skills can make anyone a valuable leader. People who are able to display this level of learned emotional intelligence often find themselves in a position of management. Instead of multi-tasking and ignoring the needs of coworkers, they possess the organizational skills required to effectively make time for their employees. These people have the ability to make others feel equal and heard. They know how to reduce stress and calm employee fears.

When people experience fear, they immediately experience a heightened threat response. This response activates an area of the brain that kick-starts the stress response and in turn, has a large — usually negative — effect on a person’s entire system. However, people with neuroleadership skills have the ability to prevent such circumstances, or at the very least, extinguish emotionally charged situations simply by opening a line of communication.

All of these areas of emotions, brain function and intelligence have been repeatedly found to be interconnected by neuroscience studies. Leaders who understand both neuroscience and emotional intelligence can be an extremely effective and powerful tool for successfully managing engagement.

 


 

Author: Divya Parekh (ACC, CPC, LL, MS) is an international career leadership coach, Head Career Coach at International Coach Academy, and CEO of The DP Group. She assists executives, professionals, coaches and students plan, develop and achieve their career and leadership goals. She has been recognized by Worldwide Who’s Who as ‘VIP of the Year’ for showing dedication, leadership and excellence in leadership coaching. She has also been recognized by NAPW as a ‘VIP Woman of the 2014 Year’ for outstanding leadership and commitment in coaching. She is founder of the 1/1/1 Leader Project. The project prides itself on being simple. Set a goal. Work towards achieving it. Give someone a smile. Be nice to another person. Make the world a little bit nicer. It’s free so get started today!

Article References:

http://neurocapability.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/linking-emotional-intelligence-to-neuroscience/

 

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Motivating Your Teenage Son to Success

As a child your son was enthusiastic. He loved playing with blocks, reading and drawing. His boundless energy of always wanting to learn more, touch things and explore often left you exhausted but pleased. You knew you had a smart child in the making. However, by the time he hit elementary school, things began to change.

It was around this time when you received your first note that your child was “experiencing some problems.” Included in the list of teacher comments were things like failing to complete projects on time, not turning in homework, is fidgeting in classes and not staying focused on task at hand. His lack of motivation left you feeling disheartened as you look over his mediocre grades and sly attitude.

 

It seems your teenage son has officially disconnected, leaving you to wonder why your smart child is no longer motivated to succeed. While a lack of motivation can be cause for a child to not succeed, an un-motivated child can also turn your home into a battleground. One of the first steps to motivating your teenage son is to help them develop a love of learning.

Boys learn differently

Males learn best with they are on the move as opposed to being sedimentary. This will explain the fidgeting in the classroom. The male mind is more interested in physical activity such as building things, running and jumping, solving puzzles, touching and exploring. Studies show that boys prefer to read stories about other boys involved in activities they enjoy.

Make learning fun by connecting home and school

You’ll need to pay special attention to your son to find out what does motivate him. Learn about his interests and provide incentives (which are not the same as rewards) to encourage him to learn. For example, if your teenage son enjoys building things, then connect him with a local science club. You can then use this to explain how learning math and physics in school are important to engineering. Perhaps your son loves animals. See if he can volunteer at a nearby vet clinic and explain how biology and science are part of animal care. The idea is to get him motivated by involving him in things that interest him and then convey the importance of his school subjects to his interests.

Time trades

Your teenage son will need to accept the fact he will have to do things he may not want to do, such as homework and house chores. Teaching him about time trades will help him become accustomed to doing these activities. For example, for every minute or hour your son spends doing homework or chores, he can trade an equal amount of time doing something he enjoys from a list that you have created together. He can even bank time to use for daytrips, theme park visits or overnight campouts. Remember, the list needs to consist of his interests or else he won’t be motivated. You can work together to keep track of maintaining the time record and working out details. This method of time trade will also teach him self-regulation.

Other things to try

  • Everyone likes to have their personal space, so create a personalized work area for your son. Work together to create a space where he can do homework, build things, read – whatever he needs to be motivated to do what he needs to do. A personalized workspace will be more appealing to him than a general area that is used by everyone in the house.
  • Consider introducing him to male role models. Find ways in your neighborhood or community to connect your son with organizations that interest him. Maybe your son loves cars and you just happen to have a neighbor that restores old autos. Perhaps your son has a knack for professional sports and the community beside you has an organized sports league. These types of activities can also be used for time trades.

Motivation is something every parent wants for their children. Helping your un-motivated teenage son become interested and motivated is one of the best gifts you can provide. It will teach him to set and achieve his goals and become a life-long learner.

 


Author: Divya Parekh (ACC, CPC, LL, MS) is an international career leadership coach, Head Career Coach at International Coach Academy, and CEO of The DP Group. She assists executives, professionals, coaches and students plan, develop and achieve their career and leadership goals. She has been recognized by Worldwide Who’s Who as ‘VIP of the Year’ for showing dedication, leadership and excellence in leadership coaching. She has also been recognized by NAPW as a ‘VIP Woman of the 2014 Year’ for outstanding leadership and commitment in coaching. She is founder of the 1/1/1 Leader Project. The project prides itself on being simple. Set a goal. Work towards achieving it. Give someone a smile. Be nice to another person. Make the world a little bit nicer. It’s free so get started today!

Article References:

http://tip.duke.edu/node/829

http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/12/03/teenage-son-lacks-motivation/

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How Successful Leaders Manage Emotions

Having the ability to manage emotions and remain calm under pressure is not a skill we are born with, but instead, is a skill that must be learned. It’s important to learn emotional management because, according to TalentSmart research, being able to remain calm under pressure has a direct link to work performance.

As a matter of fact, a study that involved more than one million people showed that 90 percent of top leaders and work performers were skilled at managing their emotions during times of stress. Their ‘skill’ was being able to remain calm and in control when under extreme pressure. Another reason to get a grip over out-of-control emotions is, according to a Yale study, prolonged stress has been found to cause denegation in areas of the brain responsible for self-control.

 

Stress, however, is not necessarily a bad thing. Actually, stress and the anxiety that comes with it, are necessary emotions that have been shown to heighten performance when people experience moderate levels of it. Research from the University of California show the onset of stress can actually entice the brain into growing cells responsible for improving memory. How then, does one go about learning the skill of emotional control?

 Stay positive. Focusing on positive thoughts is an effective way to divert your brain onto something that is completely stress-free. Any positive thoughts will re-focus your attention.

Learn to disconnect. If you make yourself available 24/7 you can expect a constant or prolonged barrage of stress. Technology makes it easy to be constantly plugged in, however, this is where drawing the line and turning off phones, shutting down computers and simply disconnecting at the end of a work day will put you in control of your emotional state.

Get enough sleep. The average adult requires between six and nine hours of sleep per night. Sleep is the only way your body and brain have to recharge. Without sufficient sleep, you will not wake up energetic and clear-headed. You will not be in control of your emotional state. Lack of sleep directly effects memory, attention and self-control.

Gain perspective. It’s one thing to have a perception of events, but it’s quite another to have a realistic perspective. Worries and stresses are created by skewed perceptions and are fueled even more by circumstances we cannot control. While we cannot control everything in our day, we can control our reactions. Instead of dwelling, take a few minutes to put things into proper perspective by making them more realistic. This will reduce your level of stress.

There are many ways to learn how to control your emotions and remain calm the way successful leaders do. Reach out to a support group, breath by practicing being in the moment and squash any negative self-talk. Most self-talk is generated out of fear, not facts so, don’t hand over your power to negativity.

 


 

Author: Divya Parekh (ACC, CPC, LL, MS) is an international career leadership coach, Head Career Coach at International Coach Academy, and CEO of The DP Group. She assists executives, professionals, coaches and students plan, develop and achieve their career and leadership goals. She has been recognized by Worldwide Who’s Who as ‘VIP of the Year’ for showing dedication, leadership and excellence in leadership coaching. She has also been recognized by NAPW as a ‘VIP Woman of the 2014 Year’ for outstanding leadership and commitment in coaching. She is founder of the 1/1/1 Leader Project. The project prides itself on being simple. Set a goal. Work towards achieving it. Give someone a smile. Be nice to another person. Make the world a little bit nicer. It’s free so get started today!

Article References:

http://www.talentsmart.com/articles/Stress-Literally-Shrinks-Your-Brain:-Five-Strategies-for-Reversing-This-Effect-454035964-p-1.html

http://www.forbes.com/sites/travisbradberry/2014/02/06/how-successful-people-stay-calm/

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