Analytical AND social brain processing essential for resolving complex leadership challenges

January 22, 2014 1:40 pm

In business we emphasis an  ‘analytical’ approach to challenges.  While there is nothing wrong with analytics, recent neuroscience research shows there is a whole separate system in our brains devoted to the people side of things.  And the analytical and social systems seem to inhibit each other – when one system is active the other is not.

All business is ultimately about people in and outside the organisation.  Learning to balance analytical and people thinking is essential.

A few things any leader can do to maximise  ‘social brain power’:

Include a social/emotional component in all project planning.  Frequently it is not a technical glitch that holds up progress but a person or group that for one reason or another is not producing, cooperating, etc.   Taking the time to think through the people side of the project will often result in the early identification of obstacles as well as generate potential solutions.
Talk with employees about the social component of their work.  Ask questions such as; who are the people who need to be influenced for us to get the result we need; whose cooperation is required to get the job done; who is creating conflict and what can we do to help resolve it?
Get to know your team members. Find out their individual strengths, preferences and ways of relating to others.  Much of the diversity teams have available to them remains hidden and untapped because of an overly narrow focus in our business relationships.
Actively build and nurture relationships with colleagues in other parts of the business.  Make an effort to understand their most pressing needs and challenges and share yours.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized on 6 February, 2014 by learningquest.

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