Neuroscience in Companies. Neuroleadership with NeuroQuotient

Neuroscience in companies, applied to people development, is an important resource but not easy to be used. In this post we will see the value contribution of NeuroQuotient in the neuroleadership development. How it makes possible and practical the application of neuroscience in companies. The processes are more efficient, since it works on the self-leadership focusing on the priorities. In addition, it allows to measure progress.

Introduction

We listen to the contribution of neuroscience in companies for people development. More specifically for the neuroleadership. There are proposals for courses and workshops to do so. However, it is not easy. Above all, is difficult to demonstrate tangible results beyond the novelty.

Moreover, people who discover NeuroQuotient®, some of them through introductory webinars observe their possibilities and ask us,

Can NeuroQuotient® be used for the development of people, while applying neuroscience in companies and organizations?

They have become aware of the great power of the neuro tool for coaching and development. They understand that it can contribute too, to introduce neuroscience in companies and organizations. Converting the neuroleadership development into something tangible.

The answer is:

Of course, NeuroQuotient® is being used with great success to apply neuroscience in companies in the development of neuroleadership.

With this post we explain why so, by answering the following question:

What is the value contribution of NeuroQuotient®?

The answer is addressed to those responsible for the areas of people development. They will be able to see how to apply neuroscience in companies in a practical and tangible way. Also, it’s for the people certified in NeuroQuotient®, and to those who want to be certified.

We will start with a small Introduction to NeuroQuotient. But before, give us to introduce the two key differential elements with respect to other tools and development strategies.

  • The processes are much more efficient.
  • NeuroQuotient measures progress.
What is NeuroQuotient?

A tool to understand and apply neuroscience in a practical way to the people development

It is clear, that human behavior (understood in a broad way, including thinking and feeling) is based on brain patterns, supported by neural networks. Therefore, in NeuroQuotient, we are talking about neuro behaviors (nbhvrs, hereafter).

The NeuroQuotient explains in a simple way the brain bases of behavior. The neuro behaviors. In this way, it makes neuroscience practical.

On the other hand, the neuro tool (Fig. 1) helps us to measure the intensity of these neuro behaviors, differentiating between those that provide satisfaction (we call them efficiencies, and we graph them in color) and those that do not provide good results (limitations and we draw them in grey).

In addition, it has a development approach. The person asks himself where he is (current state) and about his desired state (Fig 1). People, as in the example (a real case), want to increase their efficiencies and reduce limitations.

Neuroscience in Companies. Neuroleadership with NeuroQuotient
Fig 1. NeuroQuotient graphics. Efficacies (color) and Limitations (gray). From the current State to the Desired one, people want to increase Efficiencies and decrease Limitations

Why is NeuroQuotient so powerful to apply neuroscience in companies and organizations?

Very Easy! Because Development processes are more efficient and productive, that is, they provide greater results in less time.

Due to two reasons, mainly:

  • Works from self-leadership
  • Helps to focus on the key points to improve results

 

Self-leadership or personal leadership

It is common for initial development goals to refer to more or less tangible competencies, but deep down, self-leadership always is underlying.

Usually, in the development processes, objectives are focused on tangible competences, for example:

Communication / Teamwork / Organization and Planning / Leadership

And, too many times, we intend to achieve them with training sessions that rarely serve much.

However, when it is addressed, even if only partially, with individual sessions, we find situations such as the following:

People who are asked (and want to) communicate better (for example, make more persuasive presentations) realize that they get nervous facing an audience. (neuro behaviors: being afraid to do it wrong, after fear comes stress, and the need to flee, and, later, only anticipating the situation, fear and stress are triggered).

Another example. Team work is no easy for who, apparently, have a great self-confidence, but focuse only on their interests and treats others with ‘aggressiveness’. (Ncomp: perceives others as a threat and, as in the previous case, their fear and stress systems are also active, but in the fight mode).

In both cases the key is ‘emotional self-management’, the self-confidence (well understood), the optimism, etc. Ultimately, the self-leadership.

With NeuroQuotient the person alone (it’s not a 360) answers the questionnaire. Next, in a climate of trust with the expert, becomes aware of the neuro behaviors that lead him/her to a greater satisfaction. Yes, greater satisfaction. The results that really count are emotional. And, the satisfied people (happy, why not) contribute more to the results of the company. Directly and indirectly, because they contribute to creating a more productive climate (collective emotional state).

Neuroscience in companies with the neuro tool enhances leadership. Self-leadership translated into positive influence (leadership) in others.

Focus on the most important. Prioritize.

It is quite common to use tools for the development of people that provide a lot of very good information. However, the person thinks: All this! Where do I begin?

NeuroQuotient, by comparing the current state with the desired one, helps identify what is a priority for development. It makes possible the Pareto principle: with 20% of shares, you get 80% of results.

With NeuroQuotient the person focuses on developing the priority to achieve a noticeable advance in their self-leadership. From there, to become a leader is easy.

And when someone reaches an adequate level of self-leadership it is easy to become a good leader. When they acquire an enough level of self-confidence, emotional self-management, etc., to lead is only to learn some techniques in training workshops.

Development with neuroscience in companies with the neuro tool is more productive, thanks to a greater focus. Pareto Principle, 80:20

A report for the person, another for the company.

NeuroQuotient provides different graphics and reports to the person and the company. To work in depth and maintain confidentiality with the person and inform the company accordingly.

At this point, everyone is already convinced that every process of leadership development had to include some individual sessions.

And here it is common for a problem to arise. For the process to be efficient, a great trust is necessary between the person and the coach or the consultant. This requires maintaining the confidentiality of what was discussed in the sessions. More with NeuroQuotient that can identify some ‘delicate’ issue in the limitations.

But the company ‘pays’ and wants, logically, to intervene in some way. The process can not be totally opaque for the company. Something must be transparent.

The NeuroQuotient solution is to use different graphs for the company. With some indexes in which the limitations are absorbed in the efficiencies (Fig2). Each efficiency absorbs a limitation of another level.

Neuroscience in Companies. Neuroleadership with NeuroQuotient
Fig 2. Graphs with the neuroquotient dimensions for the person and graphs with neuroquotient indexes, which allow measuring progress, for the Company

The most important NeuroQuotient index is NQ, which embraces all the efficiencies and limitations. It is higher when the efficiencies are higher and the lower the limitations.

NQ measures self-leadership!

We had it clear from the design of the tool. But, in addition, to confirm this, in the tool validation regarding TCI-R (Temperament and Character Inventory of Dr. Robert Cloninger), we found a very high correlation (0.69) with the Self-Directedness scale.

The other indixes, that at least embrace an efficacy and a limitation, can be seen in Table 1.

These graphs can be used both to state the individual development goals and, as we will see below, to demonstrate the results obtained.

Neuroscience in Companies. Neuroleadership with NeuroQuotient
Table 1. NQ indices with the most outstanding neuro behaviors.
Measure of progress,

The NeuroQuotient indexes allow measuring and demonstrating the progress in the processes of development.

But companies want to see justified their investment. They usually want to be shown improvement. For this, a qualitative report is not enough. However, quantifying progress is complicated. You can resort to 360 studies, but they are not very efficient.

There, is one of the most important contributions of NeuroQuotient. The neuro tool allows measuring progress.

Most of the tools that are used in development determine the personality through the behavioral traits.

NeuroQuotient does not deal with the personality. It is centered on the behavior and on the intensity of the neuro behaviors. In a coaching process of a few months the personality is impossible to be changed, but it is very feasible to adjust the behavior to improve the results.

Let’s continue with the example. Let’s see, Fig 3. the progress by comparing, with the graphs for the company, the current state at the beginning of the process and at the end of it. In this case the process lasted three months.

Neuroscience in Companies. Neuroleadership with NeuroQuotient
Fig 3. Measurement of progress in a development process with NQ indexes

There is a progress in NQ, self-leadership and, mainly in the indices A, [A1] and [A2], those referring to neuro behaviors of approximation. Those who, in effect, the person was raised as priority improvement opportunities.

More than one will observe that the index [I1] – the highest at the beginning of the process – has decreased. This is totally consistent with the person’s purpose: he felt no need for improvement in dimension I1 (see Fig 1). Also, it is consistent with the model: a high efficiency points to the risk that the limitation of the same level is also. Efficiencies and Limitations are like two sides of the same coin.

Finally, write down a topic for a future article of interest to the company.

Prevention of psychosocial risks. Resilience is a particular case of self-leadership.

Self-leadership affects all the people in the company, not only those who have dependents.

The prevention of psychosocial risks is usually addressed from the point of view of the company so that people feel less negative effects.

It is rarely considered from the point of view of helping people to be more resilient. Or to work with those who ‘expelling their stress outward’ emotionally contaminate the environment.

But, let’s leave it for another article.

At the beginning we said that we wanted to present the contribution of the neuro tool in the practical and efficient application of neuroscience in companies and organizations. We hope this has been achieved.

Insights Discovery. Color Personality Test. (Coaching Tools 8)

The Insights Discovery, the color personality test, is one of the most complete personality tools for the leadership development and relationships development in companies.

Our purpose, as in other cases, is to understand its foundations and assess its suitability to be used in coaching. We include it in the coaching tools series because starts with the self-knowledge and self-awareness. However, a priori, its greatest usefulness seems to be in the development of the relationships and the leadership.

It is popularly known as ‘the test of colors’ or ‘the color personality test’. In our work as consultants it is easy to know if in a company they have had a workshop using the Insights Discovery. Sooner rather than later, someone, referring to another person, says: ‘Ah, this person do this because is blue (or red or green, or yellow)’.

Continue reading “Insights Discovery. Color Personality Test. (Coaching Tools 8)”

Mindfulness, neuroscience and resilience. Improve resilience and measure it with NeuroQuotient®.

We connect mindfulness, neuroscience and resilience. Also, meditation, neuroscience and resilience. The practice of mindfulness has positive effects on the brain. One of them is that resilience improves by practicing mindfulness and meditation. We introduce the resilience indices of NeuroQuotient®.The book Altered Traits. Science Reveals how Meditation Changes your Mind, Brain and Body by Daniel Goleman and Richard J. Davidson was very helpful to explain the connection.

Introduction.

NeuroQuotient® is a model and a tool that helps us understand the neuroscience of behavior. In this case it will be useful to see the relationship between mindfulness, neuroscience and resilience (and meditation, neuroscience and resilience). Specifically to see the effect that mindfulness practice has on the brain and how it favors resilience.

Behind our behavior there are patterns that are sustained by brain structures (centers and neuronal pathways). In another post we explain how these patterns are created and reinforced through the principle of Donald Hebb.

When the patterns are very marked, they can become ‘behavior’ traits, (even personality traits) that are very characteristic of each person.

Daniel Goleman and Richard J. Davidson, in their book:Altered Traits. Science Reveals how Meditation Changes your Mind, Brain and Body’, they tell us that the practice of meditation helps us modify some of these ‘traits’.

From NeuroQuotient®, we believe that, the practice of mindfulness and meditation helps us, indeed, to modify brain patterns. In addition, we are convinced that the main ‘traits’ that are modified contribute to improved resilience. NeuroQuotient® allows us to measure progress in these traits through, as we will see, the resilience indices.

We will connect, then, mindfulness, neuroscience and resilience, through NeuroQuotient® and its resilience indices. The ideas of the book by Goleman and Davidson will be useful to confirm how is this connection between mindfulness, neuroscience and resilience.

Let’s start by briefly describing what we mean by some concepts such as resilience, meditation, mindfulness and neuroscience. And a little more about NeuroQuotient®.

Resilience

Resilience at work means: pressure tolerance, fatigue resistance, ability to concentrate, etc. It has more to do with the person himself than with the events and inputs of the environment.

Resilience refers, in general, to the ability of human beings to adapt successfully to adverse situations. But, at the day-to-day level at work we don’t need to look for great adversities. We can talk about ‘pressure tolerance’, ‘fatigue resistance’, ‘ability to stay focused and keeping the attention span, etc. Additionally, high resilience corresponds to a good level of self-leadership, of self-management.

In all these cases, it is the person himself, rather than the signals and stressors of the environment, that has the greatest influence. It’s about how you perceive, react and feel in different situations.

Meditation, mindfulness and neuroscience.

With meditation we refer to the ancient Eastern tradition. With Mindfulness (full awareness of the present moment) we refer to the practical adaptation of meditation to the Western world, and with its application on a daily basis and at work.

From now on, although Goleman and Davidson refer more to meditation, we will remain with mindfulness and neuroscience. Above all, for the practical vocation that mindfulness has. In today’s fast and demanding world, few people have time for a deep practice of meditation. However, it is accessible to incorporate informal mindfulness exercises on a day-to-day basis that result in improved resilience.

So far, we have talked about mindfulness and neuroscience, and meditation and neuroscience, interchangeably. From here, we will stay with mindfulness, neuroscience and resilience.

A little more about NeuroQuotient®

As we have said, in NeuroQuotient® we deal with the behavior and the brain patterns on which it is based. We call them neuro behaviors.

With NeuroQuotient®, after answering a questionnaire, we have a snapshot of a time in the person’s life (current state) regarding their most frequent neuro behaviors. We differentiate between efficient neuro behaviors (in color in the graph) and limiting neuro behaviors (in gray). The effective ones bring satisfaction to the person. The limiters do not provide good emotional results.

The higher the efficiencies and the lower the limitations are, the higher the level of self-leadership. We measure the level of self-leadership with the NQ index.

The NQ index correlates very well with the scale Self-Directedness of the TCI-R model of Dr. Robert Cloninger.

Mindfulness, neuroscience and resilience
Fig 1. We want to intensify the efficient patterns (neuro behaviors) and weaken the limiting ones, to increase our satisfaction (emotional results).

With mindfulness practice, neuro behaviors are modified, and people’s satisfaction and resilience improve. The connection between mindfulness, neuroscience and resilience is actual and effective.

From the beginning we observed that development efforts were worth it. The most evolved people, with better self-leadership, told us: ‘Some time ago (one, two, three, years) I would not have answered in the same way; my limitations would have been much higher.

And this answer was independent of the development method used. From simple awareness, or coaching, or psychotherapy, or meditation, etc. Meditation and mindfulness were one of the paths. The most effective, we believe.

In short, with the development process, there had been a change in the neuro behaviors, in the brain patterns, of the person.

And, of course, when these new behavior patterns persist beyond the old ones that limited the person’s satisfaction, we can talk about modified traits, as a result of the development process.

NeuroQuotient® Resilience Indices

The dimensions of resilience in NeuroQuotient® are the reverse of the limitations. Low limitation means a high dimension of resilience.

And how do we connect NeuroQuotient® with resilience?

In a very simple way. When the limitations in NeuroQuotient® are low, the ability to respond to adverse situations (or perceived as such) is better. Also, very important! Greater is the ability not to amplify the adverse environmental signals. That is, with low limitations, the greater the resilience.

Hence the reverse of the limitations are the dimensions of resilience. We named them this way:
rA1 – management of attention and impulsiveness.
rA2 – management of anger (and empathy).
rI1 – management of stress.
rI2 – management of self-thinking (and self-esteem).

In Fig 2 are the graphs for two real cases with different levels of resilience according to NeuroQuotient®.

Let’s describe these resilience indices. At same time we will refer to some of the ´Altered Traits´ the result of the practice of meditation and mindfulness, as Goleman and Davidson tell us. In this way, we can connect mindfulness, neuroscience and resilience.

Mindfulness, neuroscience and resilience
Fig 2. Values of the resilience dimensions according to NeuroQuotient® for two real cases. Left. Low resilience (current state Fig1). Right. Remarkable level of resilience. The 3 corresponds to the average. From 0 to 6, – / + 3 standard deviations
rA1 – management of attention and impulsiveness.

Modified traits related to improved concentration and attention span, and with the resilience dimension rA1.

Some of the altered traits, according to Goleman and Davidson, refer to a better attention, to a greater focus, to decrease the tendency of the mind to wander, to control the response to external distraction signals (blinks), to potentiation of working memory, etc.

That is, they are related to the resilience dimension rA1. Although in rA1 we also include other neuro behaviors. Brain patterns that have to do with low impulsivity, with not being carried away by the illusion of the moment and / or by the search for immediate reward. Also, with not creating one-self unrealistic expectations.

In general, it is an optimal management of the reward system in its prefrontal (attention, concentration) and limbic (motivation) pathways. We believe that the practice of mindfulness is positive for both aspects. A key element in the relationship mindfulness, neuroscience and resilience.

When dealing about attention and focus, Goleman and Davidson talk about multitasking. For them the multitasking brain does not exist, but it is connecting, and disconnecting quickly from one task to another. With this premise, it is obvious that people with a tendency to multitasking are more easily distracted.

Attention is essential in all functions of the prefrontal cortex, for this reason, mindfulness also improves working memory.

rI1- management of stress and rA2 – management of anger (and empathy).

Modified traits related to reduced activation of the amygdala (threat system, fear) and stress. Also, with the ability to manage fear and the amygdala with the PFC (prefrontal cortex). Resilience dimensions rI1 and rI2.

Other modified features, according to Goleman and Davidson have to do with a lower reactivity of the amygdala (threat system center in the brain) to stress and a greater ability to manage it from the PFC (prefrontal cortex).

From there we are going to the resilience dimensions rA2 and rI1. Behind them is, indeed, the system of threats or fear, with the amygdala as the fundamental brain center. After the amygdala of an animal is activated, in response to a threat of the environment, the stress (adrenaline) is switch on (in the version ‘fight’ or ‘flight’).

But, humans, we can amplify these signals. We can even imagine them only with our thoughts. But, also, we can stop them with the same PFC (prefrontal cortex). When we dealt about stress we saw the prefrontal connection with the intercalated GABA cells (CIT) that calm down the amygdala.

If we are able to manage our internal stress, and not increase it by worrying, the resilience index rI1 will be high.

If we manage the externalization of stress, curbing our anger and aggressiveness, the rA2 resilience index will also be high.

In addition, with respect to rA2, there is another modified feature. From meditation and mindfulness, there is a better connectivity of the empathy circuit.

We are more prepared to feel the negative effect on others when we expel our stress towards them. In addition, in this case it is the oxytocin that calms the amygdala by acting on the interspersed GABA neurons.

rI2 – management of self-thinking (and self-esteem).

With meditation and mindfulness, the default network related to rumination and depression, and the tendency to think negative about oneself, also becomes less active. The resilience dimension rI2 is increased.

Finally, but very important, is the rI2 resilience dimension.

When it is low, it includes a high tendency to ‘rumination’. To stay blocked by turning to negative thoughts about ourselves and to blame ourselves.

This neuro behavior can be a symptom of major depression. In a depressive state there is absence of motivation, energy is very low and self-esteem is negatively affected. Resilience is zero. The high rI2 dimension means the opposite: motivation, energy and self-esteem.

It is well described that the circuit default network ’brain circuit is involved in rumination.

Well, Goleman and Davidson, tell us that with meditation the dorsolateral prefrontal connection that inhibits the default network is reinforced. Another key relationship between mindfulness, neuroscience and resilience.

Persist in practice!

With meditation and mindfulness, the altered traits appear soon, but it is necessary to persist in practice so that they consolidate and endure. With NeuroQuotient® we measure progress!

Finally, keep in mind that, as Goleman and Davidson say, the altered traits arise with little need for practice, but it is necessary to persist in it to last.

It is necessary to consolidate the new neuronal pathways to prevail over the previous ones. This tells us the Hebb principle we quoted at the beginning. Simple, but very important to understand the connection between mindfulness, neuroscience and resilience.

It is necessary to persist in practicing mindfulness. If we abandon, the previous patterns will reappear as stronger than the new ones created, and reinforced, with the practice of mindfulness.

On the other hand, with NeuroQuotient® we can track to measure progress in resilience indices.