Virtually any area of human behavior has a neurobiological facet, which can be studied by investigating the functioning of the brain. However, this field of research does not only focus on the mental processes of the individual isolated from his environment, but also includes the way in which the environment influences our networks of neurons, and vice versa.
“That is why neuro-leadership exists, a concept that refers to the part of leadership and team management that has to do with what we know about the human brain.”
The relationship between the brain and leadership: 4 keys
Here you will find several key ideas that help to understand how the functioning of the brain is related to the way leaders act, according to principles of neurolide-leadership.
1. The importance of emotional memory
The last decades of research in the neurobiological bases of memory have shown us that the emotional part of memories works in a different way to the way in which we “archive” in our brain the most rational elements that are easy to explain verbally.
This means, among other things, that the intensity of the memory of an emotion does not have to be the same as that of the memory of an idea, phrase or reasoning. In fact, the emotional imprint tends to be more lasting than that which is expressed through concrete ideas and words.
In practice, our attitudes towards a person depend not on those beliefs that we have about her, but on the emotions and sensations that she produces for us when we have come in contact with her in the past, although we do not remember exactly what happened in those encounters
Therefore, the emotional tone of a dialogue is usually as or more determinant than the pure content of what is said when leaving a good memory in people and to facilitate that our points of view are taken into account. The same conversation can cause a leadership to arise or not arise, depending on the way in which it is spoken, being the content of what is said.
2. The delay of gratification
The ability to renounce immediate rewards to be eligible for medium or long term rewards is one of the most useful psychological skills to achieve ambitious goals, which are those that can aspire to great teams that coordinate with each other .
Putting the focus on the individual (and more specifically, on his brain), this mental characteristic has to do with the way in which the frontal lobes counteract the influences that the limbic system has when establishing action plans. While the frontal lobes are related to socialization and the conceptualization of abstract goals, the limbic system is much more passionate and individualistic.
This means that those who have developed frontal lobes more connected to the rest of the brain, tend to have better facilities to resist temptations and invest time and effort in reaching objectives, which is essential for leaders not to fail projects or to give example
3. Communicative resources
The ability to communicate using language is the definitive characteristic that distinguishes us from animals, and it is for a good reason. Thanks to this tool based on symbols, we can involve in a single action a practically unlimited number of people, helping them to reach an agreement to achieve a common goal.
For example, thanks to the development of language through a reorganization of the cerebral cortex it was possible to establish primitive trading networks and group hunting, and the expansion of this kind of skills from writing gave way to great civilizations with cities in the that social and cultural life was centralized.
In the world of organizations, communication resources have an equally essential role; Although it seems that everyone has to be clear about what to do, the truth is that in most cases this individual approach to work creates unnecessary problems and limits the ability of groups and teams to grow.
Learning the most important tools to communicate taking into account the context and non-verbal language is key to the communicative flow of a company or team is in favor of the general functioning of the entity, and not against it to feed ambiguities and misunderstandings . The leaders must act as facilitators of this communication network within a team, so that the ideas can be expressed and the doubts can be solved in time.
4. The keys to group identity
Leaders need to be able to convey the values and ideas on which an organization is based, regardless of whether it is formal or informal. And in this aspect it is necessary to take into account that human beings perceive the elements as a whole, without evaluating their individual elements separately.
For example, if in a company where it is constantly said that cooperation is the key value of the organization there is an architecture and design of spaces that denote strong separations between ranges and tendency to elitist exclusivity in some areas, the result will not be that workers will have a balanced perception of the entity by having the impression that one element is compensated with the other; on the contrary, they will believe that there are great inconsistencies in the operation of the company.
Therefore, leaders must act as Public Relations from the outside, but also from the inside, so that there is a clear organizational philosophy that is expressed without inconsistencies both in the way of working and in the aesthetics of the resources used.