Leading with HEART and BRAIN

It would take a long time to count all the books written over the years for leadership, leadership styles, and new leadership techniques. Most with a claim to describe truths, often enough with the claim to know the only correct way. ECO International has made the experience that leadership and management are strongly dependent on a number of factors: leadership personality, employee training, team development, type of manufacturing processes, need for innovation, and more. We do not know which is the universally correct way. Our experience tells us that “One Size Fits All” does not work. We offer support to examine and improve individual, organizational approaches in order to address brain energy ressuorces appropriately.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if modern neurobiological research provides us more and more with the instruments that make us sure about a whole range of factors to guide employees brainwise and correctly? Leadership being aware of the brain-biological and brain-physiological conditionscan even better create a respectful and meaningful environment and culture for all participants.

If we follow the “SCARF – Model” being aware that the human brain interprets messages positively which address

  • status
  • safety
  • autonomy
  • relatedness and
  • fairness

in a reliable manner then the “ECO – Route” could be a good guide to review and align our own leadership focussing on

  • Respect for the employee, for the team
  • Orientation and transparency
  • The commitment and the possibilities for participation
  • Teamwork
  • Equal and fair treatment

If these messages are at the center of our own leadership we can take a major step to enable constructive cooperation and creative problem solving of our employees in change processes as well as in daily business..

Leading with HEART and BRAIN

“Openness” as one of the five dimensions of personality – Big – Five – model of Personality

The Big-Five Personality Model has already been worked out in the 1930 by Psychologists Gordon W. Allport and Louis Thurstone and is internationally regarded as the universal model in research on personality. Following this every human being in every culture worldwide can be described by the following scales: Openness to experience – Conscientiousness – Extraversion – Agreeableness – Neuroticism (OCEAN).

We are focussing here on: Openness to experience.

People with high scores in “openness” have a lively imagination, perceive their positive and negative feelings clearly, and are interested in personal and public events. They describe themselves as inquisitive, intellectual, imaginative, experimental and interested in arts. They are more willing to critically question norms and face new social, ethical and political challenges. They are more independent in their judgment, often unconventional, try new ways of action, and prefer variety.

Persons with low openness tend to more conventional behavior and conservative attitudes. They prefer well-known and tried-and-tested environments and perceive their emotional reactions rather muted.

How the Kübler-Ross “Change – curve” can help in change communication 

Kübler-Ross originally derived this well-known phase model from the experience and behavior of dying people. It has also proven to be very helpful to understand reactions when dealing with the processing of experiences and experiences that can not be changed. This is the interface to change processes in which one of the important factors for fear and resistance is their own experienced competence to meet the requirements during the change process and in the future.

And there is also the strong practical utility of this model in the change process. A helpful rule for internal communication: The more employees experience their own competence in the process of change, the less strongly do they have to show shock, resistance and anger.

Leadership and teamwork 

© Bosetti 2017

It is particularly important for successful teamwork that the values ​​according to the “4-value system” are as similar as possible for all members:

  •     appreciation

The motives of the individual team members can only be understood and developped in a culture of appreciation for all team members. Questions like: “What do I do if you want to tell me something but I just have no time?” can be really helpful. Or : “What do I do when your message is boring me?”

  •     trust

Trust is the basis of all coexistence, co-operation and economics. In terms of teamwork trust means “I trust in the skills, the will and the positive intentions of my team colleagues.”

  •     clarity

The third central concept in the value system is clarity: clarity in me myself, my thoughts, wishes and actions. Only those who are aware of themselves can communicate clearly. Many conflicts are caused by intentional or unintended uncertainty. Only when I am clear, I can position myself and I am calculable for others

  • consequence

Being serious in accomplishing a task or executing of a plan is best visible in how quickly I  follow my announcements: “In my deeds you shall measure me”. People showing consistent  behavior are less forced to threaten or admonih. This leads us back to the starting point: acting consistently, we promote appreciation and confidence for ourselves and create more clarity about ourselves and our environment.

As we have already seen the value system in the prefrontal cortex develops from early childhood to about 25 years of age. In particular, education and influences from the social environment play an important role. Mistakes made by parents, teachers or other people during this phase of life can be rectified completely or at least partially due to the plasticity of the brain but the effort is very high and in most cases this needs help of an experienced coache or psychologist. The second important prerequisite for successful teamwork is the willingness of the team members to share their knowledge with others.

© AFNB 2017