Personality & the Brain: A New Paradigm for Leadership Development

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Information about Personality & the Brain: A New Paradigm for Leadership Development

Published on November 26, 2013

Author: annedran


Leadership systems that create powerful companies Personality & the Brain: A New Paradigm for Leadership Development HRPA Hamilton Chapter - October 10, 2013 Facilitated by Heather Hilliard Leadership & Behavioural Change Expert

About the Speaker  Personality & behavioural change expert with over 25 years’ experience working with individuals, teams, leaders and organizations to eliminate dysfunction and maximize potential  Creator, Striving Styles® Personality System, a neuro-psychological framework for development & behavioural change  Author, Who Are You Meant To Be? A Groundbreaking, Step-by-Step Approach to Discovering and Fulfilling Your True Potential

Why So Many Leaders Fail to Achieve Potential  Operate from function that decides, defines and plans in a logical, rational and objective fashion  Don’t use the relational part of the brain: struggle to coach, resolve conflict, show appreciation, empathize, and manage performance  Focus on doing relationships, rather than being in them  Focus on changing leadership behaviour without understanding what drives behavior (e.g., behavioral competencies)

Role of Functions in Leadership  Brain scientists have determined that the brain has four functional quadrants that play different roles in our personality  While we are meant to use all four quadrants in various activities, most leaders use only one or two  Imagine the positive impact on your organizational results if your leaders were using all four quadrants of the brain!

Four Quadrants for Processing  Four distinct functional areas of the brain:  left and right hemisphere,  within each hemisphere, an emotional brain and a rational brain quadrant  Each quadrant is specialized to perform specific tasks very efficiently  Functions operate in the external or internal environment

Role of the Functions in Leadership Rational/Imaginative Business Leadership  Set goals & expectations  Assess performance  Reinforce behaviors  Linear problem solving  Building desired future state Process Leadership  Produce results  Followership  Process and rules  Maintain status quo  Tactical planning Strategic Leadership  Envision desired future state  Vision & strategy  Design systems / consider context  Out of the box thinking/problem solving  Adaptable/situational approach Social Leadership  Determine emotional needs  Relational/social experiences  Reward & recognition  How people behave  Impact on people Experiential/Emotional

Failure of Leadership Programs  Using one or two leadership approaches significantly limits leadership effectiveness, especially when we know we are not attending to a particular aspect of leadership but don’t know why  Leadership development programs often take a rational approach to relational brain development  These programs don’t help leaders learn to use their emotional brain; keep them in their comfort zone and fail to bring about any behavioral change

Importance of Needs

Exercise: Worst Leadership Behavior  In groups of 3, discuss leadership behavior that you have had to deal with and the impact it had on you and your coworkers

Leadership systems that create powerful companies Four Types of Leadership Based on brain functions

Business Leadership  Focus on producing results  Goal oriented, practical & objective  Organize people, tasks, timelines to achieve a common goal  Financial & budget  Use authority & power to ensure accountability

Function of the Left Rational Brain  Create an ideology for the way the world must be and make sure everything conforms  Decide what something (or someone) is, where it belongs, what its usefulness is  Plan, sort and organize experiences  Form our self-concept

Striving Styles in the Function

Strategic Leadership  Provide the vision & direction for the growth/success of an organization  Organizational transformation & change  Adaptability  Insight into markets, barriers, people  Architect of the big picture

Function of the Right Rational Brain  Imagine, conceptualize and synthesizes information and experiences  Create a vision for the future  To “know” without “knowing why”  Create our “self-image

Striving Styles in the Function

Social Leadership  Focus on how people feel as they work  Rights & entitlement of employees  Emotional intelligence / relationships  Rewards & recognition  Organizational culture  Communication, conflict resolution

Function of the Right Emotional Brain  Relate and bond to others  Evaluate experiences  Produce emotions  Store and recall negative emotional memories

Striving Styles in the Function

Process Leadership  Produce Standard Operating Procedures & policies to ensure things are done right and objectives met  Focus on efficiency, economy of effort, cost effective productivity  Manage performance to ensure everyone follows processes & procedures  Logistics, schedules, resources  Focus on maintaining & performing expected activities of the role

Function of the Left Emotional Brain  Experience physical sensations  Repeat experiences to recreate known sensations  Repeat and reproduce activities in specific sequence and order  Seek and experience positive or negative emotions

Striving Styles in the Function

Leadership systems that create powerful companies 8 Signs Leaders aren’t Using their Whole Brain

Autocratic Behavior  Key theme of outward focused left rational brain is “I know best and let others know”  Leading exclusively from this function results in:  Micromanaging  Overpower others  Don’t delegate authority  Critical, demanding, impatient behavior  Lack of empathy Leader: Need to be In Control

Absentee Behavior  Key theme of inward focused left rational brain is “I know best and don’t tell others”  Leading exclusively from this function results in:  Withholding knowledge, information, direction  Expecting employees to know what to do without telling them  Avoiding involvement with employees  Hiding out in office or work from home  Passive aggressive behavior Intellectual: Need to be Knowledgeable

Image-Driven Behavior  Key theme of outward focused right rational brain is “I am the best and I let others know”  Leading exclusively from this function results in:  Using employees ideas as their own  Overly concerned with image (great guy, gal)  “Punishing” employees who publically disagree or blindside  Speaking about “I” not “we”  Avoiding reality Performer: Need to be Recognized

Don’t Share their Vision  Key theme of inward focused right rational brain is “I see all and expect others follow”  Leading exclusively from this function results in:  Expecting employees follow without explaining where they are going  Impatience to get to vision; don’t tolerate others’ slower movement  Don’t follow up or hold accountable  Intimidate by asking direct questions  Rationalize poor performance Visionary: Need to be Perceptive

Put People Before Results  Key theme of outward focused right emotional brain is “I know what’s best for people”  Leading exclusively from this function results in:  Ignoring own or business priorities  Doing employees’ work for them so they don’t have to struggle (foster dependency)  Insisting on harmony; shut down creativity/innovation  Insisting on cooperation and consensus building that impedes decision making  Taking employee behavior personally Socializer: Need to be Connected

Don’t Assert their Authority  Key theme of inward focused right emotional brain is “Others know what is best for them”  Leading exclusively from this function results in:  Letting others define authority & take lead  Misunderstand & personalize behaviour of employees (focus on feelings, not issues)  Don’t expect or demand of others  Don’t give feedback; let employees make mistakes  Do everything themselves; perfectionistic Artist: Need to be Creative

Fail to Plan or Follow Through  Key theme of outward focused left emotional brain is “I do what I want to do when I want to do it”  Leading exclusively from this function results in:  Impulsive decision making (frustrated employees)  Failing to stay with prolonged challenges  Leaving employees to figure things out for themselves  Failure to follow through on commitments  Lack of empathy for people of different styles Adventurer: Need to be Spontaneous

Resist Change & Innovation  Key theme of inward focused left emotional brain is “I do what I am supposed to do when I am told to do it”  Leading exclusively from this function results in:  Say “no” to suggestions/ideas without consideration  Lack empathy  Demand adherence to status quo, despite pressing need for change  Critical & judgmental of people who different  Failure to correct performance; it themselves Stabilizer: Need to be Secure are do

Leadership systems that create powerful companies Tools for Whole Brain Leading

How the Brain Develops  Brain develops through experience  Using other functions requires scheduling time to perform the activities associated with the function, i.e.  Business leaders need to spend time in social leadership activities daily  Process leaders need to spend time daily in strategic activities/discussions  Competencies need to be developed for each of the four quadrants relative to the business or role

Personality & Brain Functions in Leadership Development  The personality of a leader is expressed through the functions of the brain  Therefore, leadership development needs to incorporate approaches that target developing brain functions and not just focus on behavior  Approach focuses on developing individual leaders as well as embedding whole brain approaches into systems

Tools for Whole Brain Leadership Leaders  Build self-awareness - understand own brain (Striving Style) and predominant leadership style  Determine extent of use of each quadrant; determine area that needs to develop  Provide activities that engage specific areas of the brain  Provide expectations, coaching & feedback

Tools for Whole Brain Leadership Systems  Do your organizational systems support development of all 4 leadership styles?  Do your systems focus on behavior instead of engaging the whole brain  Need to incorporate approach into:  Strategy, goals, planning processes  Selection, retention, career pathing  Performance management systems  Competency systems  Values & culture  Rewards & recognition  Training & development

Tools for Whole Brain Leadership Organizational Culture / Team Culture  Determine what is the brain predominant function of the leadership team  Identify what leadership functions will dominate the culture  Address gaps  Provide team experiences to develop lesser used leadership functions

Our Approach  Striving Styles Personality System is a neuropsychological framework for development, behavioural change and achieving potential  Can be integrated into any development program  Audit existing programs to ensure design & delivery reflect personality, emotions and how the brain learns  Facilitate organizational change, eliminate dysfunction and disengagement  Build expertise of anyone involved in training, development & behavioural change

Contact us 416.406.3939

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