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!

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