Assess Your Team

Don’t Fall Back on Mental Habits

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For those of us who observe Daylight Savings Time, this Sunday we’ll “fall back” by setting our clocks back an hour, and that extra hour of sleep will be good news for our brains. A growing body of research is finding that sleep enhances the brain’s ability to process and retain information and memories, unravel complex issues to make better decisions, and make connections that allow us to get more creative, among other learning and performance-improving activities.

But our brains also love their routines. Just try to change someone’s mind (even your own), and you’ll see how firmly engrained those routines are.

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Managers, You Aren’t Responsible for An Employee’s Motivation

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With all the chatter about employee engagement and its impact on productivity and retention, we know that employee motivation is a key issue at all levels of leadership.

But people who lead continue to make a fundamental mistake in this area: They believe and behave as if they are responsible for an employee's motivation.

Here’s a news flash: Motivation of an employee doesn’t come from the manager; it comes from within the employee.

Why is this so hard to grasp? One possible reason is we’ve established a cadre of leaders who think that visible action on their part is the primary way to lead—that you must do something or you won’t be viewed as a leader by those who are led.

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Decision Making in the Midst of Business Crisis: Think Before You React

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No organization is immune to adversity. Whether the result of unavoidable external events, like an earthquake or economic crisis, or internal issues and upheavals, challenging times can—and most likely will—hit every business at some point.

The question is, when crisis inevitably hits, how will you handle it?

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How Do Your Employees Think? The Answer Might Surprise You

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Last week we talked about why you should expect difference when it comes to thinking preferences.

Taking it a step further, one of the things we’ve learned from the data we’ve collected is that not only can you expect difference, you can expect balance: Organizations, ethnic groups and any group of a large enough size will have a balanced distribution across all four quadrants of the Whole Brain® Model. That’s why we say the world is a composite Whole Brain®.

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The SAGA of Managing Your Thinking in a Chaotic World

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Today’s biggest cognitive challenge—especially at work—is managing the sheer volume of information and noise in the environment. No matter how skilled you think you are at multi-tasking, what you’re really asking your brain to do is task switch, and there’s plenty of research that shows the brain just isn’t very good at it.

So how do you get clarity and results when your attention is fragmented?

You have to consciously choose to manage your thinking.

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The Case for Slower Management: Agility Isn’t Just About Speed

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There’s a famous line from the movie The Princess Bride that could easily refer to the way so many of us define what it means to be agile leaders and managers:

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Agility doesn't mean what you think it means

When I hear the word “agility,” my first thought is always: Speed. I need to constantly be moving fast, staying nimble in the face of continual changes and complexities. It’s as if the old playground game of “Think Fast!” has become the daily battle cry, and I have to not only stay ahead of the pace but also be ready to shift on a dime when the unexpected comes up.

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Leaders Need to Develop Their Thinking Agility

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In a recent video interview, Tapping into the Brain for Powerful Results, Ann Herrmann-Nehdi, CEO of Herrmann International, shared why thinking agility is so important for leaders today, and why the ability to adapt to situations as they arise and focus energy on optimizing thinking processes is critical to the development of the next generation of leadership.

The interview, which was conducted at the 2012 ASTD International Conference and Expo, is part of a Training & Development Insights documentary project sponsored by Cooper Services. In it, Ann explains how leaders can become more balanced in thinking both strategically and tactically.

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Size DOES matter – 5 Steps to Better Team Meetings

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Saturday morning, my spinning class was raucous, a cacophony of conversation. The instructor had a hard time breaking through with her standard and ever increasing challenges. The spinning room had recently expanded from a surprisingly small group of bikes 7 to 9 bikes and none of us thought it would make any real difference.

The din of Saturday’s session proved us wrong. When there is more than seven in a group, interaction becomes much more complex to manage. In the case of our spinning class, it really did not matter as long as our instructor could speak loud enough to break through the noise. In working with teams and workgroups on the other hand, it can make or break the productivity.

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