If you’ve ever met someone who told you they were a “business consultant,” and you scratched your head wondering what in the heck does that really mean, you are not alone. The term “consultant” is so vague it often borders on euphemistic.
To survive as a consultant in any industry, you need to charge fees that will enable you to stay in business; at the same time, both you and your clients need to feel that your fees are fair and equitable. So how do you find the middle ground that seems fair to everyone involved?
In sports, we often talk about athletes who “want it” more than others. These are the players who show up early, who use up every last ounce of energy in pursuit of their best performance. Players for whom defeat is viscerally painful, the ones who will stop at nothing to succeed.
Teamwork is critical to building a successful business. Successful entrepreneurs engage a brain trust of mentors and advisors who coach them for free, and they develop strategic partnerships with individuals and businesses.
A year ago, after months of late nights and weekends spent working my side hustle, I made the leap into freelancing full time. Since then, I’ve been consulting for various small businesses, helping them launch their online presence.
Effective 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!
Over 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!