Imagine reading just one newspaper – for the rest of your life

Hello and welcome to the third article of my neuro blog. In the first one, I described the three parts of the human brain (see image to the left for a reminder of the triune brain), notably the importance of the unconscious. In the second article, I suggested that one of the main purposes of the human brain is sense-making (see second photo below).

The diagram describing how the brain processes stimuli – whether internal or external – highlights that nothing is experienced directly. There are a number of implications therefrom but today let me discuss communication. [Read more…]

What your brain is for

Hello and welcome to the second article of my neuro blog. In the first one last month, I described the three parts of the human brain (see just below for a second representation of the triune brain), notably the importance of the unconscious. In future posts, I expect to delve into how the fact that our brain processes are mostly unconscious impacts our decision-making and consequently our behaviour. But today, I’d like to engage you in considering what your brain is for. Obviously, there are many possible answers.
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The three brains in your head

Hello and welcome to the first article of my neuro blog. Since 2013, I have become increasingly interested in what neuroscience, the scientific, multi-disciplinary, study of the nervous system can teach us about the brain. My assumption was that understanding the brain would in turn illuminate my comprehension of the mind. The two are definitely "correlated" (I can’t escape my financial past!) but they are not the same. I expect I’ll return to that difference in future posts.

With this neuro blog, I mean to share some of what I’ve discovered about the brain and the insights about the mind which learning about the brain has made possible for me. Having an appreciation for how the brain works has helped me manage my thoughts – to cope with the less helpful ones, my emotions – to move away from the uncomfortable ones, and my behaviour – to choose more how I act.
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A Model to Make Sense of your Office Challenges (part 2)

The SCARF that Ties (part 2)

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

Hello and welcome to the last edition of Career Tips for 2014! In this offering, let’s continue unpacking the simple yet powerful model to make sense of your life at work which we started to SCARFlook at last month.

You may recall the model is called SCARF and it is anchored within the basic principle that our brain’s purpose is to protect us: our brain continually seeks to identify potential threats. This negative bias is at the root of our survival. When the coast is clear, our brain then seeks to optimise our sense of comfort and wellbeing.

You see in the graphic depiction above that SCARF is an acronym for the five words of Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness and Fairness. Last month, we looked at the two dimensions of Certainty and Autonomy.

If you missed last month’s offering, you can catch it up here.
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A Model to Make Sense of your Office Challenges (part 1)

The SCARF that Ties

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

Hello and welcome to Career Tips! For the last two editions of this year, I want to share with youSCARF two articles focusing on a simple yet powerful model to make sense of your life at work.

Does this sound too good to be true?

I trust that, once familiar with the model, you will find that it is helpful to read yours and others’ reactions to events in the office as well as give you ways of coping better, notably when it comes to managing your reactions more comfortably and to engaging with others more simply and effectively. The model I will tell you about is called SCARF and it is the brain child of David Rock, co-founder of the NeuroLeadership Institute and author of the "The Brain at Work".
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Keys to Maintaining Motivation – for You and your Team

Reflections on Motivation and How we May Lose it

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

Welcome to the sixth edition of Career Tips in 2014. Earlier in the year, we talked about your work goals for 2014, we discussed your blind spots getting things doneand how they can prevent you from making the progress you seek against your professional objectives, we reviewed techniques for working efficiently and finally we explored identifying and therefore being in a position to better play to your strengths. We then took a break and I shared with you a webinar on career transition which I trust was informative. If you missed it, you can catch it up here.

Indeed, achieving goals – in a professional context: performance at work – is about the capacity to keep doing what is required in order to progress and eventually achieve your goals. We have discussed how your blind spots will obstaclesinterfere, just as lacking in personal effectiveness is also likely to slow you down, while being unaware of your strengths will mean more hard work than is strictly necessary. But what we haven’t yet discussed and that which underpins any achievement is motivation. It is therefore time for an article which unpacks the components of motivation and helps us understand how we get demotivated.

The articles on goals, strengths, blind spots, etc. are available here.
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5 Top Tips to RESET your Career

The Art of Negotiating your Career Transitions, Big and Small

Hello and welcome to Career Tips! In this edition, a bit of an original offering: an hour-long webinar on career transition! Wow!career transition

I designed this workshop for everyone currently thinking of changing jobs, whether the change means just a progression within your current employer or involves a switch to a new industry. Indeed, the webinar considers all forms of career transitions, whether they stem from a risk of redundancy, a natural process of internal evolution within your current company or that vague, and at first clearly unhelpful, sense that it’s time to think about what next.
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4 Steps to Effective Decision-Making

Taking your PICK™

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

To all those of you who took a well-deserved break, let me welcome you back! You know, there is an interesting piece of statistics I always think about when it comes to September: September is the month when people make the most decisions. It’s not January despite that month’s association with New Year’s Resolutions. Rather, it seems that a lot of us take the time to reflect during a summer break and in September, we decide to do something about our fitness and join a gym, or to stop smoking or to really start looking for a new house.

So, with September being a bit ‘Decision-Making Month’, I thought I would talk to you about the process of decision-making so that you can self-assess how you go about making decisions today and see whether tweaking your approach could help be even more effective.

So, in the rest of this video, I will share with you the PICK™ model which is a 4-step approach to making effective decisions. PICK™ is also quite unique because you can use it in a number of ways to suit your style: it is a flexible approach which anyone can use and yet a robust method too.
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Beating Drudgery and Dejection Part 2

How Practicing Choice and Gratitude will Help you Stay Motivated

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

In the preceding article, I was discussing Drudgery at work and its boon companion Dejection. With Drudgery, all sense of fun is lost and with Dejection motivation goes out the window. I gave you tips to spot Dejection and shared with you how you can use ‘what’ questions to beat it.

For more on spotting and beating Dejection, click here.

Now to Drudgery and giving it a good kick up the backside!
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Beating Drudgery and Dejection Part 1

Keeping your Spirits Up in the face of Adversity with some ‘What’ Questions

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

The other day, a friend wrote me: "I am in a phase of life where everything is just plain drudgery, heavy annoyance and pain internally.…we are all struggling massively…." Does that speak to you too? This is a theme which may resonate with many of you considering the turn for the worse which the financial markets and the economy appear to be taking. The risk of a deepening Eurozone crisis, articles in the financial press about layoffs at the banks, all make for tough working conditions. My heart goes out to every one of you who may feel vulnerable in these current times. You may also feel vulnerable or frustrated if it looks like you won’t be able to complete all your work objectives for 2011, for whatever reason. So this video and the next one are about coping when things go wrong.

I’m sure many of you watching this would say that you work hard, possibly very hard but when it’s drudgery, then working hard becomes hard work, it’s no longer exciting, it’s dull, it’s like putting oneself through some kind of grind… Drudgery usually comes hand in hand with its good friend Dejection which is a state of mind where one is in low spirits. It’s an unhappy place where Drudgery and Dejection dwell. They work as a team to sap your motivation. First, Drudgery takes the fun out of being at work and then Dejection swoops in to make you think that you’re failing. In turn, this feeling of failure prevents you from taking action because you wonder ‘what’s the point?’
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