How we really make decisions

Hello and welcome to this month’s neuro blog!

Are you enjoying the summer? I’m writing from the South of France and it’s just blissful!

Today, I’d like to address decision-making. Remember that I posited in an early post that "there is no thinking which is not emotional which in turn implies that our decisions and behaviours are rooted in emotion with any rationale therefore representing only an ex-post rationalization" (for more, see what your brain is for). Let’s unpack this statement a bit more, shall we? In that post, I presented a simplified model of the brain whereby any stimulus is first processed by the limbic/emotional system. Let me add here that another key organising principle of the brain is ‘association’. [Read more…]

Really learning (part 3): meaning and chunking

Hello and welcome to this month’s neuro blog!

In this third – and final – blog on the topic of facilitating learning, let me build on the positive implications of harnessing emotion and of maximising attention and engage you on the themes of meaning generation and chunking. At this stage of the game, I have posited that we can support others’ learning by associating it with positive emotions (check out emotions help us learn) as well as by varying our delivery in order to keep our audience’s attention (read learning and attention).

I want to further propose that learning – the process of memorising new information and then of recalling it at will – is also helped by meaning. When discussing the impact of emotions on learning in my April blog, I mentioned anticipation as one of the positive emotions which can facilitate learning. And indeed, when we look forward to learning, we have a sense that this pending new information will add to our existing body of knowledge. It will complete it and we will feel the richer for it. We look forward to learning and to feeling good about it.

[Read more…]

Really learning (part 2): back to attention

Hello and welcome to this month’s neuro blog!

For those of you who teach, did you think that leveraging emotions was a good idea? If so, how did you practically do so? For those among you keen learners, did you agree that emotions facilitate both the processing and later the recall of new knowledge, as I proposed in my April post?

In this month’s article, I am continuing to look at how we learn and some of the brain processes associated with that activity. I want to return to attention (I hear some of you moaning "oh noooo….). In a future post, I propose to engage you around the notions of meaning and chunking.

As such, in addition to the opinion that we best learn when the new knowledge is associated with a positive emotion, I also hold the view that we best learn when we are able to pay as-close-to undivided attention while being taught. But that is a tall order – judging only by the masse of self-help books which expound on techniques for captivating and retaining an audience’s attention. [Read more…]

Really learning: the role of emotions

Hello and welcome to this month’s neuro blog!

What did you think of my suggestion back in April to leverage language to influence how you feel? Did you tell yourself you ‘only’ felt your negative emotions – to hasten their passing? – and that you were your positive emotions – to encourage them to linger a bit?

This month, I am sticking to emotions and my focus is on how they can help us learn. I am curious by nature but I noticed I wasn’t always retaining new learning even when I had found it interesting. As a coach and facilitator, I am keen that my clients be able to not just have those great insights but to return to them and thus plan their behavioural change. [Read more…]

Paying attention and happiness (part 4) – active listening

Hello and welcome to this month’s neuro blog! Last month, we discussed other-awareness and landed on the notion that disagreement – about beliefs, values and behaviours – is more likely to be the norm. I advocated tolerance but also proposed that you put on a metaphorical Detective Columbo’s raincoat (no need for the cigar nor the dishevelled look) and go look for the other’s person’s inner landscape, asking open questions to give them the freedom to respond as they wish, and thereby letting a new reality emerge – theirs. [Read more…]

Paying attention and happiness (part 3) – other-awareness

Hello and welcome to this month’s neuro blog! Last month, we discussed how paying attention to yourself – self-awareness – can benefit you in terms of enhancing your emotional intelligence but also bolstering your resilience and adaptability. In addition to making emotional self-management smoother, I have noticed in folks gaining in and practicing self-awareness a quietening of the mind, a stronger sense of self, greater acceptance of life’s daily irritants and a lesser reactivity overall. A third benefit I have noticed from paying attention to oneself is that it also boosts motivation, increasing self-determination and therefore improving one’s goal achievement prospects.

Let me now invite you to look at the other side of the coin: other-awareness. [Read more…]

4 Steps to Optimal Performance

Going for GOLD™

(click below to view the video or read on if you’d prefer!) 

Hello and welcome to this new edition of Career Tips! We are now close to the midway point in 2015. Are you happy with your achievements at work? For those of you who have a midyear performance review coming up, are you comfortable with your achievements to-date?

Depending on how you answered this question, how about upping your game?

For that reason, I thought I would share with you a simple method to optimise your performance. Inspired by the 2012 Olympics, it is my hope that the GOLD™ method will both inspire you and provide you with pragmatic tips so you add value to your employer and you too get a gold medal for your performance in 2015!

[Read more…]

Work Smarter by Better Prioritizing Your Activities

How do you really want to spend your day when you’re at work?

(click below to view the video or read on if you’d prefer!)

Hello and welcome to the last installment in this three-part series on personal effectiveness! We kicked off in March by looking at the benefits of time management and how you can improve your effectiveness at work as well as increase your own quality of life. If you missed it, catch it up here. Last month, we explored a powerful technique to get you started: I told you about the time log and how to use it to understand where you spend your time. To read about the time log, go there.

Thanks to your time log, you now know how you spend your day while you’re in the office. It is now time to make changes to how you allocate your time.

[Read more…]

A Powerful Technique to Manage your Time

What happened while you were rushing?

(click below to view the video or read on if you’d prefer!)

Welcome to the fourth edition of Career Tips in 2015! This is also the second installment of a three-part series on personal effectiveness. Last month, we looked at reasons why managingpersonal effectiveness your time might make sense and in fact could deliver for you benefits both at work and at home.

If you missed that article and would like to catch it, just click here.

If you are someone who has either White Rabbit or headless chicken moments, feels rushed, or frustrated about how much time you spend at the office, how late you leave in the evening, or irritated that you often take work home, let me suggest that you start keeping a time log.

[Read more…]

5 Tips to Help you Manage your Priorities in the Office

The Art of Getting the Right Things Done

(click below to view the video or read on if you’d prefer!)

Welcome to the fourth edition of Career Tips in 2015! This is also the second installment of a three-part series on personal effectiveness. Last month, we looked at reasons why managingpersonal effectiveness your time might make sense and in fact could deliver for you benefits both at work and at home.

If you missed that article and would like to catch it, just click here.

Building on from such techniques such as the time log and the priority matrix, here are five tips to get you to more purposefully allocate your time in the office and raise your personal effectiveness:

[Read more…]