Share

Crack The Behavior Code

Create Peak Performance In 20 Minutes

Christine is known for creating strategies that are responsible for hundreds of billions of dollars in new revenue and company value. Imagine if she was able to sit down with you and SHARE all of her knowledge and insigh
Latest Episode7/29/2021

The Neuroscience of Recruiting

Season 4, Ep. 7
Why do we make hiring and recruiting mistakes? Or even role assignment/placement mistakes?Often it’s because we’re rushed, we don’t have a process that has been proven to be successful, or we don’t have a clear profile of who we truly need in a specific role.But also it’s because we don’t leverage neuroscience.The Proven 3 Step Process To Get The Right Person In The Right Role Every TimeSo how do you get the right person in the right role? It’s actually easier than you think. It requires a proven process, and that you don’t cut corners.Credit: Getty1.Figure out where you are on the Inflection Point chart.See the chart below so you know the main people, money, model challenges, and opportunities your organization is in the midst of—and are around the corner. Look 1-2 years out and sketch out the org chart you’ll need. Some of our coaching clients prefer a 1 year and 3-year org chart. We help them develop the plan for the immediate hires (so they can achieve the 1-year org chart with everyone at solid performance), then we help them create the organizational infrastructure to support their next inflection point of growth.2.Once you have clarified the roles you need, dive into who the right person truly is. For this you’ll need:a.The leadership level appropriate for the role (how much ownership do you want them to take?) What makes sense for this role? Check here:b.An impact description to ensure we know exactly what a great fit will be and what they’ll own.Here’s an example.c.If the role is senior, map out their decision space (what exactly will they have decision authority over).Here are some examples.All of the above will causeemotional engagementin the candidate’s brain: oxytocin (yes! These are my people! I’ve found them), serotonin (wow, does it feel good to know I’ve found my tribe), dopamine (I can’t wait to see what we create together!).3.Make sure that your recruiting process is working.The following makes all the difference (and see the proof below):a.Post the Impact Description I mentioned above – you’ll get fewer candidates, but they’ll be the right fit.“From May 9 through July 8 we ran an ad online. We had 14 applicants, two people were interviewed, and zero people were hired.Then we used STI‘s Impact Description format. Within *one week* we had 25 applicants, nine interviews, and seven very solid candidates. STI’s Impact Description format made all the difference!”~ Justin RodriguezTalent Acquisition Manager, Principle Autob.Screen for Value Alignment digitally – if they aren’t aligned with your values, they won’t fit in with your culture. You can simplyset up an auto-reply with 3-5 values questionsand direct candidates to send the answers to a 2ndemail address. When you read their answers to the values questions, you’ll know who’s aligned with you and who isn’t.“We integrated your strategy for recruiting forvalue alignmentandhigh accountabilityinto our process.It worked out very well.We had 70 applicants for the position.Each applicant received an email from us and requested that they answer some values questions. 25 out of 70 responded!7 were contacted and brought in for interviews.2 were brought back for more than 2 interviews and we just selected the candidate today.I think this approach took 30 or more days off the process plus we calculate that the process saved us 60 team member-hours per candidate.The process also gives you more insight into the individual and you feel you know them a lot better which takes the risk-off.”~Steve OstanekPresident, Neundorfer, Inc.c.Screen forsafety, belonging, mattering,andmeta programs. You’ll learn more by following the links I just mentioned, and here’s a quick summary:To discover the SBM Trigger of your candidate:Ask: What is most important to you at work—please list in order of importance:You’re in a team that has a plan, people have your back (this shows safety is important)You’re part of the team, you have an equal value to others (this shows belonging is important)You’re acknowledged and appreciated for your unique contributions; you are making a difference (this shows mattering is important)To discover the Meta Program profile of your candidate:There are many Meta Programs —about 60—per Leslie Cameron-Bandler. Think of each Meta Program as a color and each person a unique artwork formed by the combination of those colors.Here are the Meta Programs our clients find most impactful when recruiting:Direction: Toward-Away.Are you motivated to go toward a goal or away from pain? Think salesperson versus accountant: what criteria do they assess situations with?Reason: Options-Procedures.Do you like to have many options and choices, or prefer a proven step-by-step process? What feels right to you?Scope: General-Specific.Do you feel comfortable with a high-level overview, or do you want specific details? When describing something, do you start with the details or the summary?Orientation: Active-Reflective.Do you have short sentence structure and high action, or do you want to think about things first, using longer sentence structure with many clauses?Source: Internal-External.How do you know you’ve done a good job? Through external feedback or internal monitoring?So during the interview…Ask:What do you enjoy most at work/what makes work fulfilling? Why?Listen for achieving goals/accomplishment [Toward] OR solving problems/mitigating risk [Away]Ask:Think of a recent large purchase (like a car, home, etc.) or a big decision you made recently. Why did you choose the specific item you chose?Listen for having lots of options, choice, possibility [Options] OR having a proven process OR a story that had a number of steps that ended with the choice being made [Procedures]Ask:Tell me about your weekend.Listen for high level, net-net, executive summary [General] OR details and specificity [Specific]Ask:What’s your approach when solving problems? How do you decide what to do? How do you do it?Listen for take action, charge forward, do it now, high bias to action [Active] OR consider, ponder, understand, analyze, THEN take action [Reflective]Ask:How do you know you’ve done a good job?Listen for external proof: achieve quota, win the contest, get praise from boss [External] OR “it’s a feeling, I know I’ve done my best” [Internal]For more on all the above please see ourRecruiting Process.Here come more good feelings and firing of hormones and neurotransmitters in the candidates and even the hiring manager’s brains. Woo hoo!d.Use whatever tests you like best. Our clients like Caliper, Kolbe, Predictive Index, Achiever, Topgrading, More Than A Gut Feel among others.Tests are a good idea to check ourselves so we don’t get too excited—let the prefrontal cortex (the analytical part of the brain) take over here and ensure the data backs up all the good feelings.The Net-NetUsing some basic brain-based tools can help you screen candidates more effectivelyIt’s essential to move beyond the “rock star moment” of the interview and ask self-revealing questions to find out who the person truly isUsing these tools will save you time and heartacheHow’s your recruiting going?
7/29/2021

The Neuroscience of Recruiting

Season 4, Ep. 7
Why do we make hiring and recruiting mistakes? Or even role assignment/placement mistakes?Often it’s because we’re rushed, we don’t have a process that has been proven to be successful, or we don’t have a clear profile of who we truly need in a specific role.But also it’s because we don’t leverage neuroscience.The Proven 3 Step Process To Get The Right Person In The Right Role Every TimeSo how do you get the right person in the right role? It’s actually easier than you think. It requires a proven process, and that you don’t cut corners.Credit: Getty1.Figure out where you are on the Inflection Point chart.See the chart below so you know the main people, money, model challenges, and opportunities your organization is in the midst of—and are around the corner. Look 1-2 years out and sketch out the org chart you’ll need. Some of our coaching clients prefer a 1 year and 3-year org chart. We help them develop the plan for the immediate hires (so they can achieve the 1-year org chart with everyone at solid performance), then we help them create the organizational infrastructure to support their next inflection point of growth.2.Once you have clarified the roles you need, dive into who the right person truly is. For this you’ll need:a.The leadership level appropriate for the role (how much ownership do you want them to take?) What makes sense for this role? Check here:b.An impact description to ensure we know exactly what a great fit will be and what they’ll own.Here’s an example.c.If the role is senior, map out their decision space (what exactly will they have decision authority over).Here are some examples.All of the above will causeemotional engagementin the candidate’s brain: oxytocin (yes! These are my people! I’ve found them), serotonin (wow, does it feel good to know I’ve found my tribe), dopamine (I can’t wait to see what we create together!).3.Make sure that your recruiting process is working.The following makes all the difference (and see the proof below):a.Post the Impact Description I mentioned above – you’ll get fewer candidates, but they’ll be the right fit.“From May 9 through July 8 we ran an ad online. We had 14 applicants, two people were interviewed, and zero people were hired.Then we used STI‘s Impact Description format. Within *one week* we had 25 applicants, nine interviews, and seven very solid candidates. STI’s Impact Description format made all the difference!”~ Justin RodriguezTalent Acquisition Manager, Principle Autob.Screen for Value Alignment digitally – if they aren’t aligned with your values, they won’t fit in with your culture. You can simplyset up an auto-reply with 3-5 values questionsand direct candidates to send the answers to a 2ndemail address. When you read their answers to the values questions, you’ll know who’s aligned with you and who isn’t.“We integrated your strategy for recruiting forvalue alignmentandhigh accountabilityinto our process.It worked out very well.We had 70 applicants for the position.Each applicant received an email from us and requested that they answer some values questions. 25 out of 70 responded!7 were contacted and brought in for interviews.2 were brought back for more than 2 interviews and we just selected the candidate today.I think this approach took 30 or more days off the process plus we calculate that the process saved us 60 team member-hours per candidate.The process also gives you more insight into the individual and you feel you know them a lot better which takes the risk-off.”~Steve OstanekPresident, Neundorfer, Inc.c.Screen forsafety, belonging, mattering,andmeta programs. You’ll learn more by following the links I just mentioned, and here’s a quick summary:To discover the SBM Trigger of your candidate:Ask: What is most important to you at work—please list in order of importance:You’re in a team that has a plan, people have your back (this shows safety is important)You’re part of the team, you have an equal value to others (this shows belonging is important)You’re acknowledged and appreciated for your unique contributions; you are making a difference (this shows mattering is important)To discover the Meta Program profile of your candidate:There are many Meta Programs —about 60—per Leslie Cameron-Bandler. Think of each Meta Program as a color and each person a unique artwork formed by the combination of those colors.Here are the Meta Programs our clients find most impactful when recruiting:Direction: Toward-Away.Are you motivated to go toward a goal or away from pain? Think salesperson versus accountant: what criteria do they assess situations with?Reason: Options-Procedures.Do you like to have many options and choices, or prefer a proven step-by-step process? What feels right to you?Scope: General-Specific.Do you feel comfortable with a high-level overview, or do you want specific details? When describing something, do you start with the details or the summary?Orientation: Active-Reflective.Do you have short sentence structure and high action, or do you want to think about things first, using longer sentence structure with many clauses?Source: Internal-External.How do you know you’ve done a good job? Through external feedback or internal monitoring?So during the interview…Ask:What do you enjoy most at work/what makes work fulfilling? Why?Listen for achieving goals/accomplishment [Toward] OR solving problems/mitigating risk [Away]Ask:Think of a recent large purchase (like a car, home, etc.) or a big decision you made recently. Why did you choose the specific item you chose?Listen for having lots of options, choice, possibility [Options] OR having a proven process OR a story that had a number of steps that ended with the choice being made [Procedures]Ask:Tell me about your weekend.Listen for high level, net-net, executive summary [General] OR details and specificity [Specific]Ask:What’s your approach when solving problems? How do you decide what to do? How do you do it?Listen for take action, charge forward, do it now, high bias to action [Active] OR consider, ponder, understand, analyze, THEN take action [Reflective]Ask:How do you know you’ve done a good job?Listen for external proof: achieve quota, win the contest, get praise from boss [External] OR “it’s a feeling, I know I’ve done my best” [Internal]For more on all the above please see ourRecruiting Process.Here come more good feelings and firing of hormones and neurotransmitters in the candidates and even the hiring manager’s brains. Woo hoo!d.Use whatever tests you like best. Our clients like Caliper, Kolbe, Predictive Index, Achiever, Topgrading, More Than A Gut Feel among others.Tests are a good idea to check ourselves so we don’t get too excited—let the prefrontal cortex (the analytical part of the brain) take over here and ensure the data backs up all the good feelings.The Net-NetUsing some basic brain-based tools can help you screen candidates more effectivelyIt’s essential to move beyond the “rock star moment” of the interview and ask self-revealing questions to find out who the person truly isUsing these tools will save you time and heartacheHow’s your recruiting going?
7/15/2021

Don't Make Your Brain Dumb

Season 4, Ep. 6
What makes a person successful?Having a growth mindset? Being a visionary? Being born into the ‘right’ family?These may help, but a healthy brain is foundational. Without it, success is going to be far harder to come by. So what is a healthy brain, a successful brain? It’s one that has high blood flow and high activity.TheAmen Clinicsperform brain imaging calledsingle-photon emission computed tomography(SPECT), which assesses at blood flow and activity patterns in the brain. Since 1991, they have performed over 135,000 brain SPECT scans on patients from 120 countries. The data from SPECT teaches us the four crucial aspects of a person’s brain-based success.Daniel AmenHere are the 4 crucial aspects of ensuring your brain stays strong and doesn’t ‘dumb down’:1) Protect your prefrontal cortex (PFC).You’ve heard me talk about this key region of the brain before. It’s behind your forehead and it governs the development of your personality as well as complex behaviors. In humans, it accounts for 30% of the brain’s volume. That’s a lot. Cats weigh in at 3%, dogs at 7%, chimpanzees at 11% of their brain’s volume. The PFC is involved with executive functions, such as strategy, visioning the future, planning, focus, judgment, impulse control, and empathy. It’s your internal CEO. Low PFC activity = bad decision making. That’s why protecting it is crucial. In astudy,Amen published they found that 91% of traumatic brain injuries involve the PFC.Preventing brain injuries is easy (phew!):Wear a helmet when doing any type of sport where a head injury could occur. Avoid tackle football, hitting soccer balls with your head, any sports that often result in your head being hit.Sleep 7+ hours a night. You’ll see in one of myblogsthat less than that decreases PFC function, which compromises a host of executive function behaviors from decision making even to thinking clearly.Reduce alcohol and marijuana use as they too decrease PFC function.Daniel Amen2) Protect your brain’s pleasure centers.The nucleus accumbens (NA), in both the right and left hemispheres of your brain, are involved in pleasure andmotivation. You’ll remember blogs I’ve written about theneurotransmitter dopamine. Well the NA is lit up by the dopamine your brain releases from sex, chocolate, video games, cocaine, stimulants like coffee, high fat and high sugar foods, and fame. Most of us are familiar with the connection between dopamine and addiction, which we’ve been seeing with excessive video gaming for many years now. Not to bum your high, but intense pleasure actually results in substantial drops in your levels of dopamine. When repeated over time (like with heroin addiction, for instance) the NA becomes less responsive, which leads to needing more of these behaviors. That’s how addiction happens, be it to chocolate or methamphetamines.Protect your pleasure centers by:Reduce or limit thrill-seeking activities like racing, excessive video games, pornography, scary movies, drugs that could wear your NA out.Increase the behaviors that protect your brain, such as exercise (ideally outdoors),meditation, listening to music you find pleasing, enjoying the company of friends, hobbies, doing things you are passionate about. All these and more help activate— and not overload—your pleasure centers in healthy ways.3) You can make your brain better.Amen Clinics is well-known for running the first and largest brain imaging and rehabilitationstudyon active and retired NFL players. Needless to say, they witnessed high levels of brain damage to players, many of which had been hit in the head thousands of times. They were thrilled—and surprised—to see that 80% of the players showed improvement in as little as two months on theirMemory Rescueprogram. Since most of us have (thankfully) not been repeatedly hit in the head, there is hope for all of us to have better brains—and better lives.The Net-NetProtect your prefrontal cortex by protecting your skull, getting 7+ hours of sleep each night, reducing alcohol and marijuana useProtect your nucleus accumbens—your pleasure centers—by dialing down addictions (we all have them—even to coffee or chocolate) and over-stimulating forms of entertainment (watch excessive video gaming)You can indeed make your brain better by getting help if you need it. Amen has helped pro football playersHow does a person become successful? That’s a long answer. For starters, you can stack the deck in your favor by having a healthy brain!
7/1/2021

The Future of Work

Season 4, Ep. 5
I won’t start by saying 2020 was a rough year. We know that already.We know that 2020 brought many businesses to their knees, requiring profound pivots, workforce and workplace changes, policy changes, and how it significantly altered how humans work.As an executive coach for mid-sized to large organizations, I was in the thick of these changes every day (and still am). It wasn’t uncommon to receive texts after hours and on weekends as my clients scrambled to find their footing in a brave, new, uncertain and constantly changing world.Based on my work with over a dozen diverse organizations over the past year, below you’ll find my predictions for what I believe The Future Of Work will look like.#1 The Human Experience (HX) Will Replace The Employee Experience (EX)Net-Net: Seeing employees as humans and helping them grow in all areas of their livesFocus on: Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, financial healthInfographic:Learning together and how it benefits our brainsIt’s ok to be human at work now. We’ve seen the inside of one another’s homes, heard our colleagues’ children crying, dogs barking, and more. Thank goodness. Now we can connect to one another without the veneer of stilted professionalism.Employee Experience(EX) was a 2-dimensional way of looking at humans. Now we care about the entire Human Experience (HX) and support our people to have more fulfilling lives, which of course helps them bring a more productive version of themselves to their work. Thanks toGartner’s 2020 Reimagine HR Employee Survey,employers that support their peoples’ lives overall enjoy a 23% increase in the number of employees reporting better mental health, plus a 17% increase in the number of employees reporting better physical health. Additionally, employers benefit from a 21% increase in the number of high performers (compared to firms that don’t provide the same degree of support to their employees).#2 Personal And Corporate Value Alignment Will Support More Purpose-Driven WorkNet-Net: Truly living corporate values, not just hanging them on the wallFocus on: Being authentic, walking your walk, talking your talkInfographic:Employee engagement has a recipe… follow it!We all want to be part of something bigger than ourselves. We all want to know we’re making a difference. We all want to work with (note I don’t say “for”) organizations whose values align with our own. According to some 2020Gartner research, 74% of employees expect their organization to become moreactively involvedin current cultural debates of the day.How did you feel about some of the more public displays of CEO support of their values, such as certain social media companies unplugging accounts of hate groups and other malevolent social forces?The more a CEO models the organization’svalues, invests in addressing challenging or even uncomfortable social issues, the more engaged their employees are.The same Gartner surveyfound a leap in employee engagement—from 40% to 60%— when their organization acted on today’s key social issues. Wow. If you need some help setting/refreshing your values,here’s a kitto help you.#3 Hybrid Work Will Be The Norm—So Build A Virtual CultureNet-Net: Release control over the work environmentFocus on: Where your people feel most productive and connected to their team/the organization overallInfographic:You need a GAME Plan to make this workHybrid workforces are already becoming common, with employees working in their home, a quiet coffee shop, or the office (or some variation). What I’m curious about is the varying interest in a hybrid that I’m seeing across my clients. Some employees are itching to get back to the physical office as much/as soon as possible. Others are ok coming in 1-3x per week, based on what’s needed. What do your employees want? Find out. Regardless, you’re going to need to have a GAME (Growth, Appreciation, Measurement, Engagement) plan to keep everyone “together” as a tribe. See the infographic above.A recent Gartner surveyfound that 64% of managers believe that employees working in the office arehigher performersthan remote workers. And they said they’d be more likely to give in-office workers a higher raise than remote workers. This isn’t the experience of my clients, though, who have found that remote workers are often higher performers. Gartner’sdatashowed the same: for full-time workers from both 2019 (pre-pandemic) and 2020 (during the pandemic) remote workers are 5% more likely to be high performers than those who work from the office.And be aware of gender disparity here too: many of my clients are finding that men are more interested in returning to the office versus women. If some managers believe the in-office employees are more productive, this could affect salary increases and promotions, which again could reinforce salary disparity between genders. No Bueno.#4 Employee Monitoring Will Be Replaced By Performance Monitoring—And TrustNet-Net: If you don’t trust them, why do you employ them?Focus on: Monitor performance and results, not hours clockedInfographic:Motivation can be crushed by leadership—make sure you don’t mess this up!Did you know that as a result of the pandemic, more than 1 in 4 companies installed technology to passively track and monitor their employees? Wow. Imagine the privacy issues that come from this, as well as the trust issues. Now imagine if this happened to you—would you feel like your employer was looking over your shoulder all day? Spying on you? It’s a sticky topic, and according toGartner's research, less than 50% of employees trust their organization with their data. This is not surprising, since 44% didn’t receive any information regarding the data collected about them and how it would be used. Whoa. A little respect, please.Expect to see a bevy of state and local regulations this year that will establish limits on what employers can track about their employees. If you choose to monitor your employees digitally, be sure to over-communicate and be super transparent about the details. Regardless, you’ll get the best results (and highest morale) by simply establishing clear KPIs, success metrics, goals, OKRs, whatever you prefer to call them, andmonitor individual performanceinstead.#5 Flexible Working Hours Will Become The NormNet-Net: Ensure overlap that’s essential, let go of control for the restFocus on: Letting people bring their best self, according totheirwork rhythmInfographic:the Feedback Framewill help you give effective feedbackAre you a morning person? Or an evening person? What would it be like to work at your peak time each day? How much more productive and fulfilled could you be?My clients are becoming increasingly flexible re: when to let their employees work. Some are requiring availability (not continuous though) between 9-5 pm, meaning the employee can take gap time during this range as long as they check email at regular intervals and attend key meetings. Others are setting up split shifts (a mom for instance could work from 7-8 am, then once the kids are set, from 10 am-2 pm, and again a check-in on email/etc from 7-8 pm). Get creative with exploring what your people need and what serves the business. This will require us to become better atgiving feedback and often doing it digitally. See the infographic above.Gartner’s2020 Reimagine HR Employee Surveyrevealed that organizations offering employees flexibility over when, where, and how much they work saw 55% of their workforce as high performers. Yet at an organization with a standard 40-hour workweek, only 36% of employees were considered high performers. Again, it’s time to measure results, as I mentioned in #4 above, versus time clocked.#6 Freelance, Temporary Help Will Be Welcomed To Optimize Resource AllocationNet-Net: Stay lean and get extra help as neededFocus on: You’ll need better communication and more Standard Operating Procedures to ensure quality and consistency with temp helpInfographic:Be sure to includeyour temp help in your tribeWe all need more diverse capabilities and skills from our teams than ever before. And Gartner’sanalysisshows that organizations are now listing about 33% more skills on job ads in 2020 than they did in 2017. Why? Because the world is moving faster, technology is moving faster, we have more diversity in the work we do, so we all have to level up to meet ever-changing needs.Many of my clients are looking for temp help, using UpWork, Fiverr, and other sites to get the specific (often narrow) help them need at the moment. We’ll need greatcommunicationto make this work, to help onboard everyone faster, and ensure consistent quality work.#7 Neurodiversity And Mental Health Support Will Be Destigmatized.Net-Net: We all have our struggles, so let’s support instead of judgeKey Focus: Create a Neurodiversity [link to neurodiversity blog] policy (if you don’t have one yet) and internal support groupsInfographic:Stress, change, isolationare devastating to us all… learn what these do to the brain so you can sidestep this riskI was very happy to learn that even before the pandemic,Gartner's researchshowed that 45% of well-being budget increases were being allocated to mental and emotional well-being programs.And now in the midst of the pandemic (and let’s be realistic—for the ongoing future) we’ve seen mental and emotional well-being brought to the forefront for all organizations.Per Gartner, by late March 2020, 68% of organizations had introduced at least one new wellness benefit to help their employees navigate the pandemic. And in 2021, we’ll see organizations join my clients in widely offering “mental health days”,support groups, compassion around ADHD, OCD, Bipolar, GAD employees. Just like some of us have a bad back and can’t sit long in a given position, these mental and emotional challenges will be viewed the same way—with acceptance and non-judgment.We’ve still got a way to go to whatever the new normal is going to be. With the above tools you’ll be better positioned to capitalize on it, and with a happier, healthier, more productive workforce.
6/22/2021

Three Fast, Easy, Neuroscience-Based Ways to Get Unstuck

Season 4, Ep. 4
As an executive coach, I invest a great deal of time in helping people get unstuck. And I repeatedly see 3 key areas where they are ensnared. We all want to be happy, to get along, to have great lives. The tricky part is we don’t live in a vacuum, so for better or worse,we must interact with others. This can be the best part of life, as well as the most challenging.Here are my top 3 neuroscience-based strategies to help youget unstuck fast:1. Catch Trouble Before You’re EntangledYou’re bopping along, having a great day, then you get blindsided by someone’s unpleasant behavior. Why? It’s their thing—not yours. Why take on their negativity, get fearful/avoid conflict/get angry/judgmental?It’s all about energy.Emotions have energy, and you have a choice as to whether you absorb that energy or not.Here’s how we absorb it and let it burn our high:Fear: you fear the person or fear they have power over you, your finances, your future, your happiness, or so on. You get the idea.Judgment: you judge the person or situationAttachment: you think something needs to be a certain way or must occur on a certain timeline, and you’re attached to getting what you want.All 3 reactions cause you to become emotionally entangled, and then you’re in trouble.Let’s be conscious of this as leaders, as solving problems is often a part of our job. The next time a buzz kill comes your way—stop, pause, and notice your response. Are you reacting with fear? Judging the person? Feeling attached to a certain outcome/how things should be? Stop. Feel it.Then choose differently. Choose to let them have their experience, but do not make it yours!2. Realize Your Ego-Mind Wants To Make You UnhappyHave you ever noticed that your mind is always talking? Blah blah blah – all the time. We know from both Wayne Dyer’s research and the NSA that a human has about 60,000 thought per day. 90% of them are repetitive. Whoa. That’s nuts!What would happen if you didn’t think so much? Have you ever had the experience of stopping the relentless dialog in your mind? Try it.Focus on your breath: inhale for a count of 7 through your nose, hold for a count of 7, exhale for a count of 7 through your mouth. Do this at least 7 times in a row and you’ll start to get still. The mind needs a project. It’s ok to give it the task of counting to get still as you do a parasympathetic nervous system reset.Next, when you return to thinking, step back and witness what your mind says. Does it complain? Pout? Rage? Thoughts generate energy.You can always stop, or at least slow, down your thoughts. Be careful what energy you fill your life with.Mike Dooley of Tut says “A young soul learns to take responsibility for their actions, a mature soul learns to take responsibility for their thoughts, and a wise soul learns to take responsibility for their happiness.”Why not be a wise soul?3. Consciously Develop Your Emotional IntelligenceTo be aconscious leader, we eventually will embrace neuroscience-based strategies for emotional intelligence. Let’s talk about the two elements of doing so. There is personal competence, which is our self-awareness and ability to regulate our emotions, and social competence, which is our awareness of the emotional experience of others and our ability to navigate the emotions of others.How aware are you of your emotions? Do you know how you’re feeling at any given time? Our feelings are how we navigate our experiences. Grab ouremotion wheelto check in on yourself.Next, are you able to witness your emotions and not get swept up in them? This is where mindfulness and meditation really help. As we learn to slow our thoughts down, we gain the ability to be less wrapped up in our own emotional dramas.As we deepen our awareness of ourselves, we can then have more compassion for the emotional experiences of others, which enables us tonavigate conflict more easily, give others a break when they’re stuck, and help them get unstuck. We start to notice that we don’t take another person’s emotional outburst personally. We can witness it without being wrapped up in it.Net-NetHumans take on the emotions of others when they fear, judge or get attached to what the person is to them, or what that person represents. It’s essential to use neuroscience-based strategies to manage the relentless chatter of our ego mind in order tohave both inner peace and behavioral choice
6/15/2021

Why We Lie

Season 4, Ep. 3
Why We Lie, And The Neuroscience Behind It I’m fine.Of course, I love you.I’ll call you.No, you don’t look fat in those jeans.We are liars. All of us. We lie to save face, to avoid hurting other people’s feelings, to impress others, to shirk responsibility, to hide misdeeds, as a social lubricant, to prevent conflict, to get out of work, and many more reasons. And we lie a lot. Deception costs businesses and government billions, ruins relationships, undermines what we care about, and even takes lives. The more white matter (see my blog The Truth About How Your Brain Gets Smarter)--or some might even say the more intelligent the neocortex—the greater potential a person has to lie. Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., a psychologist at the University of Virginia, has confirmed that lying is simply a condition of life. In her research, she found that both men and women lie in approximately one-fifth of their social exchanges lasting 10 or more minutes. Wow. And over the course of a week, we deceive about 30 percent of people we have 1:1 interactions with. Wow—wow!!Women are more likely to tell altruistic lies to avoid hurting other people’s feelings, and men are more likely to lie about themselves. De Paulo found that men lie more often to impress. A typical conversation between two guys contains about eight times as many self-oriented lies as it does lies about others. Your Brain On LiesThree key parts of our brain are stimulated when we lie. First, the frontal lobe (of the neocortex), which has the ability to suppress the truth—yes, it’s capable of dishonesty due to its intellectual role. Second, the limbic system due to the anxiety that comes with deception (hi, amygdala!)—and yes, when we’re lied to, our “Spiderman sense” here can perk up, just as we can feel guilty/stressed when we’re doing the lying. And third, the temporal lobe is involved because it’s responsible for retrieving memories and creating mental imagery. Just for fun, add the anterior cingulate cortex because it helps in monitoring errors, and the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex because it is trying all the while to control our behavior. Our brain is busy, busy, busy when we lie.And it’s far more peaceful when we tell the truth because our limbic systems aren’t stressed about lying and our frontal lobe isn’t inhibiting the truth.Lies At WorkWhere do we see a prevalence of lies? At work, or more specifically, to get out of work.According to Zety’s recent 2020 research, of over 1,000 Americans, they found 96% confessed to lying to get out of work. Here’s the net-net:The most common lies include feeling sick (84%), family emergencies (65%), doctor’s appointments (60%), or lying about a family member’s death (31%)! On average, one person has used 7 different excuses to get out of work on different occasions. Only 27% of respondents who lied to get out of work regretted it, and 41% of respondents would lie again. 91% of people making up excuses to get out of the office were never caught!More men than women were caught lying, and only 27% of respondents who lied to get out of work regretted it. For those caught, 70% regretted lying. But despite not feeling bad about themselves for lying, 59% of respondents said they wouldn’t do it again.Here’s a silver lining: the older we get, the less compelled we are to lie to avoid work. Are we all pathological liars? Or do we need to look at why we feel compelled to make up stories instead of just telling the truth? Is lying to avoid work a cultural problem, at least in part? And what about people that don’t experience regret when they lie? The stance of perpetual innocence or extreme entitlement (and thus reality distortion) is a topic I addressed in my blogs on Borderline Personalities [Kelcie: link to my 2 blogs on this please].Lying RxTo reduce the amount of lying in your workplace, you’ll want to first look at how safe people feel. Is it ok to tell the truth? Is it ok to fail? Is it ok to be human and not a superhero/work robot/cog in a wheel? Is it ok to have feelings and need a break now and then? Find out.·Do regular employee engagement surveys – see our fave one here [show either SBM Index sample heat map or link to blog that explains it]·Use the emotion wheel at the beginning of each meeting to check in on how everyone is doing·Create support groups [Kelcie link to this blog] if people need a little extra help So why do we lie? Because it works for us. Temporarily, at least. For fun, you might want to join me in telling the five types of truth [Kelcie please link to this blog]. And you’ll notice not only how good it feels, but how much simpler it makes your life.How often do you lie? Why?
6/8/2021

Five Ways To Get Optimal Outcomes From Your Team

Season 4, Ep. 2
What makes a team optimal?Alignment,communication, collaboration, energy management, leverage, trust, and what else?Google did some comprehensive multi-year research on this topic. I’ll refer to it below and map it to my work during the past 30 years in the areas of safety, belonging, and mattering.I’ve found it all comes back tosafety, belonging and mattering, no matter what structure you want to wrap around the idea of optimal teaming. Let’s look at whatGoogle learned in its extensive researchon the topic.Over the course of two years (ending in November 2015), Google conducted more than 200 interviews where it assessed more than 250 attributes of what makes an optimal team. The findings from the 180 teams studied were surprising.While they had hoped to find a recipe for an optimal team (for instance, take one Ivy League MBA, one extrovert, one expert engineer), Google actually found thatwhowas on the team mattered far less thanhowteam members interacted, structured their work, experienced their contributions. The answer was in behavior andemotional resilience. The results echoed some of what Carnegie Mellon researchers found back in 2010 with theircollective intelligence work.They learned that five key dynamics resulted in optimal teams:Psychological safety:Can we take risks on this team without feeling insecure or embarrassed?Dependability:Can we count on each other to do high-quality work on time?Structure & clarity:Are goals, roles, and execution plans on our team clear?Meaning of work:Are we working on something that is personally important for each of us?Impact of work:Do we fundamentally believe that the work we’re doing matters?Google found that psychological safety was by far the most important dynamic. Without this people don’t feel comfortable speaking up, asking questions, checking in. There’s too much risk of being labeled as “out of it” or “clueless.” All humans want to belong to agroup, and we’ll take tremendous risks (such as not speaking out even if we feel it’s very important) if we feel we may become an outcast, lose status in our tribe, or be ostracized somehow.Googlers now use a tool they call teams. It’s a 10-minute check-in on the five dynamics. A modified check-in is below, one that our clients find works very well. During the past year, more than 3,000 Googlers across 300 teams have used teams and focused on the five factors above. They often will kick off team meetings with each team member sharing a risk they took in the past week. The net is that they’ve seen psychological safety ratings increase by 6% and structure/clarity increase by 10%. But the best part is the increased connection in the team due to increased communication.Rate Your Team Per Google’s Five DynamicsConsider the five factors from Google:Psychological SafetyDependabilityStructure & ClarityMeaning of WorkImpact of WorkOn a scale of 1-5 where 5 is excellent, rate your experience of each factor in your team. Now total up your score. Here’s our rating format. If your total score is:Up to 10: High Risk. There’s a lot of work to do. Use the table below to map to safety, belonging, mattering. Get a neuroscience-based coach, and get to work healing your culture.11-18: Risky. Your team is not performing nearly as well as it could. Let’s get everyone more connected andcollaborative. Time for team training and coaching.19-25: Solid. Congrats! You’re on a high-performing team. Time to raise the bar!Below is a shortcut to help you figure out where to focus, how to get better, and a way to talk about this concept with your teammates in a structured way.Let’s now map frameworks:Easy, yes?
6/1/2021

Are You Getting Enough Hugs?

Season 4, Ep. 1
Are you getting enough hugs?Virginia Satir, a world-renowned family therapist, is famous for saying “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”How many hugs are you getting each day?With social distancing, dramatically reduced human contact, and more digital than physical interactions, many of us are running short on hugs. These extra measures to keep ourselves healthy is causing mental and emotional health problems, lost productivity at work, reduced intimacy and trust, increased anger and aggression, and that’s just a start. As leaders, it’s essential that we take this seriously—the more emotionally and mentally balanced we are, the more we can help our teams to become so.So, let’s look at why humans need hugs, and then we’ll look at strategies to get more.4 Reasons Why Humans Need Hugs1. Hugs strengthen your immune system and balance your body. A hug results in some pressure on your sternum, which then stimulates the thymus gland, which then regulates and balances the body’s production of white blood cells, which keeps you healthy. Hugs help increase circulation and help balance our sympathetic (fight/flight/freeze) and parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous systems. All good.2. Hugs increase your feelings of safety. Hugs emotionally “feed” us, help us remember that we’re not alone, help us feel more trust with others. Ever notice how relaxed you feel after a juicy hug? Hugs remind us that we’re with others. And together we can face any challenge.3. Hugs increase your feelings of belonging. Hugs boost oxytocin levels, which heal feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger. Hugging is a shared experience: you’re both giving and receiving affection. Nice!4. Hugs increase your feelings of mattering/self-esteem, being seen, and self-love. Extended hugging (20 seconds or more) boosts your serotonin levels, causing you to feel happy and more positive emotions overall. When you see another person look at you with kindness and affection you remember that you’re loved, just like you did as a child when your parents looked at you and acknowledged you were here and they were happy you were.How to Get More HugsAsk Others, Get a Hug Buddy. If you live with others, this is easy. Start keeping a daily tally and find out what number of hugs makes you feel most at peace. If you live alone, get a Hug Buddy. This is a buddy that observes the same social-distancing and pandemic protocols that you do. It’s essential to be able to relax into a delicious hug. Set times when you’ll get together for hugs. You can also sit back to back on the ground and lean against one another for an extended period of time. You could be reading or talking during this time.Hug and/or Sleep with Your Pet. Yes, this is not the same as hugging a human, but still, it’s contact with another living thing, so go for it! Many people I know are “breaking the rules” and letting their dog sleep on the bed now. Throw a special dog blanket on top to protect your bedding and snuggle up!Hug Yourself. This may sound silly but it works. Remember the goal is oxytocin and serotonin release, so you may want to turbo-charge this experience by listing all the things you love about yourself. This is about mental and emotional health, friends, and yours is more important than ever with the extended pandemic and continued uncertainty.The Net-NetHugs are good for our mental, emotional, physical and even spiritual healthNow, more than ever, people need more hugsWe can get creative to get more hugs, and also get proactive by getting hug buddies and tracking how many hugs we need daily to feel goodHow will you get more hugs per day?