Why teams? Why neuroscience? in Leadership Development #2

Our time is characterized by rapid change of work, work places and business. There is also widely recognized need for new thinking and action in leadership in this hyper-connected world where we live and work with many pressures: 1) an increase in the complexity, ambiguity, and volatility of the problems we are facing, problems in which our default solutions are unlikely to work; 2) problems requiring slow thinking, cognitive effort, and the ability to approach potential solutions from multiple perspectives; 3) the parallel increase in the need for diversity of thought as our reliance on technology and social networks increases; and 4) reduced opportunities to slow down and engage cognitive effort in bias mitigation as demand for speedy decision-making increases.

Future Leadership calls for leadership development of future. Leadership is not anymore about individuals. It is about teams. Trust is a crucial phenomenon in high-performing teams. This has also been researched by neuroscientists recently. The fundamental finding is that it is building a culture of trust what makes a meaningful difference. Employees in high-trust organizations are more productive, have more energy at work, collaborate better with their colleagues, and stay with their employers longer than people working at low-trust companies. They also suffer less chronic stress and are happier with their lives, and these factors fuel stronger performance. (Read more: Paul J. Zak, Trust Factor. The Science of Creating High-Performance Companies, 2017.)  What is more important, it is fully possible to foster organizational trust.

Traditional training methods based on specialist teaching foster neither trust nor learning creating development, nor making change happen. This is mainly because traditional methods activate cognitive parts in the brain. That is the limited work memory typically overloaded, and furthermore in the brain area of the short-term memory.

By applying participatory methods in team coaching sessions, all participants are active, co-creating and using their senses.  These methods can be visualizing, playing, gaming, building, socio drama, etc. depending on the theme of the session. Collaborating this way we respect the social needs of brain, and involve also emotions. Participants benefit from their social memory that is firstly, not limited like the work memory, and secondly, is located in the area of long-term memory where all learning and development happen.

Team coaching session with two professional coaches caters also team dynamics, increases energy and cultivates relatedness and joy in the team. Different types of persons respond better to the different needs of the team members.

As human brain aims at saving energy, and as every change and learning takes energy and time, Caleidocons™ Team Approach is a co-creation process of six to ten months. This allows the participant and the team to experiment, reflect, make errors, learn and share – dive into new thinking, being and action.

In our blog next week we share why the Neuroreactivity measure in team development, and what it is about.

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