People are wired to succeed

You are, and so are all of the people who work for you.
What if you could harness the full power of their natural motivation?
What if  you could tap into the leadership skills that pull people together and reach for a shared greatness?

Mental Engineering

It takes just a little awareness of neuroscience to propel you to that goal. It’s a personal investment with a stellar ROI.

When, as a leader, you gain the knack for seeing how people respond to small nuances in your behavior, learn to set off chain-reactions that magnify your impact and create an energy of excitement and possibility across your organization.

When the whole executive team joins in, the domino effect becomes even greater.

The neuroscience of leadership

We know more than ever about how humans are wired to function in social units. The biggest discovery I’ve noticed from recent neuroscience is that traditional carrot and stick management philosophies had it all wrong.  They disrupt our natural group dynamics and add unintended static and friction to the workplace.  As a result, a daily parade of distracting problems arisres – the very problems that consume most executives’ time and pull them away. from the stratgic focus that should be a primary part of the contribution they provide to the organization

I help business owners and senior executive teams fit-it-up so that their people work in conditions that enourage and reinforce their natural desire to contribute, be seen and move a cause (such as your business) forward together.

Can you imaging all of the infighting slipping away and a team spirit infusing your workplace?

human When you create the right conditions for people to function as a tribe or pack, you increase your team’s smart.  Literally.

Given the right environment, more blood flows from the inner “critter brain” to the specifically human neocortex.

When staff are spared the bad moods and infighting of the typical workplace, the quality of their output increases dramatically.

When your leadership is informed my neuroscience, your people become more:

  • Motivated & engaged
  • Creative and innovative
  • Influential
  • Cooperative, collaborative and pro-social


A few key insights about human brain wiring are below.  We call these BRAINKNACKS.

The more you get the knack for the pro-social nature of human wiring, the more you can accelerate the growth, clarity and results of your business.


Neuroscience Insight #1 – What does a company in a good mood look like?

When companies get in a groove, more gets accomplished with less effort. A few characteristics are:

  • Performance comes effortlessly – it’s more an act of self-expression than a challenge that has to be overcome
  • People feel safe, trusting and encouraged, and they are free to speak up with whatever perspectives arise in the moment
  • People help each other stay focused on the cold hard facts of the marketplace, and build responses that fit what is real

Workplace Implication
“Tending social systems at work and “the ability to intentionally address the social brain in the service of optimal performance will be a distinguishing leadership capability in the years ahead.”

Neuroscience Insight #2 – managing the Social-Emotive Environment:

“The human brain is a social organ. It’s physiological and neurological reactions are directly and profoundly shaped by social interaction…Social pain is equal to physical pain, reducing engagement severely when experienced.”1

Workplace Implication
“Tending social systems at work and “the ability to intentionally address the social brain in the service of optimal performance will be a distinguishing leadership capability in the years ahead.”1

Neuroscience Insight #3 – Inducing Change by Positive Engagement:

“Inducing the “threat response” is both mentally taxing and deadly to the productivity of a person- or an organization… impairing analytic thinking, creative insight and problem solving…”1

Workplace Implication
“Understanding the threat and reward response can help leaders who are trying to implement large-scale change,” influence alternative approaches to performance measures and shift our methods for meeting, collaboration and dialog.1

Neuroscience Insight #4 – Producing the Big “Aha”:

Innovation and creativity need a relaxed mind and an unfocussed brain. Forcing focus on a problem can create an unreceptive brain environment for solutions to appear. 2

Workplace Implication
“Concentration… comes at a hidden cost of diminished creativity…If you want to encourage insights, then you’ve got to encourage people to relax.” Fun, relaxation, and de-stressing becomes essential for employees to engage in high quality problem solving and innovative insight.2

Neuroscience Insight #4 – Best Practice Optimized Learning:

Optimized learning occurs when 4 criteria are attended to and met: Attention, Generation, Emotion and Spacing.3

Workplace Implication
Thoughtful planning and staging of employee learning results in increased retention and usability on the job. Optimized learning, particularly in the spacing of material to be learned, radically challenges typical organizational learning formats.3

These discoveries and countless more in neuroscience research are changing the landscape of leadership and organizational behavior. At Stephanie Barbour & Associates, we study and stay abreast of neuroscience research so that our methods and approaches are current with state of the art behavior change and best practice leadership.

We invite you to check our Resources page frequently for updated articles and materials.

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