Neuro-leadership focuses on how individuals make decisions and solve problems in different social settings, on the regulation of emotions and on the options to change.
Although all brains may look the same, in reality, they are not. On the surface, the basic structure and shape are common. Still, if examined in detail, each brain is completely different from the other since the neural circuits and distributions are very heterogeneous.
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What is neuroplasticity?
These differences mentioned cannot be explained genetically because the experiences that each person experiences cause the brain to undergo physical modifications. This is what is called neuroplasticity or brain plasticity. In other words, the brain can adapt and change to new situations, stimuli and environments.
This confirms that this is not a static organ but a plastic one. Plasticity constantly happens and in real-time, but you have to differentiate some nuances.
Neuroplasticity will depend on the intervention of an external factor that will direct the modelling process towards a specific purpose, as would be done in modelling a plastic figure.
Second, the shape and structure of the brain can change constantly and not just in the manufacturing phase.
How does brain plasticity occur?
The brain comprises different morphological individualities, not a tangle of compact cells that form a structure. When a group of neurons are activated simultaneously, they send information and establish intense communication with each other, so they are more and more predisposed to send this information to each other. For this, stable neuronal branches are created, and the microstructure of the nervous system is modified.
If, for example, neurons are activated when they recognize a chocolate bar or when experiencing the sweet taste, these two groups of cells connect a little more with each other, which will cause the brain to modify itself a bit. It happens with any experience, both with those that evoke memories and with sensations or abstract ideas.
Is neuroplasticity an advantage?
The brain’s adaptability has no definite objective, and it is only a product of human evolution. Plasticity is just the opposite of design to achieve specific goals. It is used to learn from experience and create more sophisticated and complex ways of thinking, although a negative side also appears with traumas and phobias.
Thanks to this phenomenon, people have capacities as diverse as to develop technological advances or learn new languages.
How does it affect people?
In addition to everything discussed above, neuroplasticity can also be attributed to other abilities, such as being happy, learning from one’s mistakes or creating an autobiographical memory with which to be self-aware. Without plasticity in the brain, the human being would be like a robot on an assembly line.
In the same way, it favours the development of resilience. This is because neurons can be conveniently reorganized to maintain the level of well-being despite different emotional or physical adversities.
What is its importance in team management?
Knowledge is power and, if you know how the brain works, it can become a great advantage in the business world. The new business leadership, known as neuroleadership, is an innovative discipline to manage projects incorporating new skills such as attention, mental processes and brain activity, among others.
Neuro-leadership is based on knowing how people can make decisions based on their social environment, capacity for change and the regulation of their emotions.
How is this new leadership understood?
Applied neuroscience in the company can improve and optimize the management of an organization to positively influence the environment in which it operates. Its importance is that some organizations have already begun their implementation in the Human Resources departments and the management of work teams.
To understand how neuroscience is applied in the leadership functions of a company, it is necessary to take into account three key concepts:
The prefrontal cortex of the brain is involved in conflict resolution, decision making, and strategic planning. In this specific case, it tries to maintain an adequate level of attention so that the brain circuits are activated, and the issues that require greater attention are resolved.
The brain’s ability to adapt to new situations, reform, reorganize or regenerate itself is what this concept refers to. If applied correctly, it is a complete turnaround in terms of experience and knowledge. It is a fundamental tool for adaptation to occur in an environment, although there may be changes in habits, perceptions or in the way of carrying out a job.
It is based on the different ways the brain has to acquire knowledge, and it can do so thanks to two other methods: by association or by experience. With this first form, the fundamental thing is to learn from something that already existed previously. Still, the second is the one that allows the best way to acquire knowledge since it has direct contact with reality.
This means that a business leader must apply these principles with himself and develop the necessary conditions so that his work teams can successfully carry out this learning process.
How does brain plasticity influence companies?
There are two ways in which companies can benefit (and are already benefiting) from advances in psychology with the phenomenon of neuroplasticity.
Ability to adapt to change
Markets and companies are in continuous evolution. The brain can adapt to these new times, favouring that different tasks can be developed thanks to technological innovations. If the brain is trained, it becomes more flexible, and that allows one to think creatively. Therefore, the resolution of complex problems is easier.
People’s beliefs about learning and intelligence are defined by two terms that seem simple and have a certain complexity: the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. It is already known that a flexible mind has a better capacity to adapt to change.
Several neuroscientific discoveries have shown that neuronal growth can be adapted with certain well-formulated questions, some concrete actions or precise strategies, and a healthy lifestyle. Promoting the brain’s ability to adapt by creating new neural pathways opens up a range of possibilities in business management during a process of change.
Success in the selection of personnel
In the business world, it is increasingly important to achieve workers’ loyalty and, for this, hitting the people who are part of the human fabric is essential. Through neuroplasticity, it is easier to understand that people who are subjected to stress, pressure and high responsibility can improve their functions by training their brains. In other words, these people can learn alternative work methods that allow them to be more productive.
When promoting internally, it is also very interesting to carry out studies of this type since it can be deduced what type of profiles can work together to promote and benefit work teams.
Neuroplasticity can help promote one or more people in internal recruitment processes to find the best applicants for a specific position. This is so because it is possible to detect with scientific rigour which of the applicants has a real potential for that position.
Avoid risks in the management of work teams
Currently, there is diverse evidence that human behaviour in the business environment does not work as some executives imagine. That explains why some leadership efforts that seek to drive organizational change fail.
In a company that wants to be as competitive as the markets demand today, Human Resources departments must know how to increase productivity and minimize staff turnover.
In short, neuroplasticity has become a great success that has a positive impact on the learning process. Therefore, the old idea that only children can learn should be put on hold. Work, perseverance and motivation are some of the most important keys to improving the human brain. You need to be continually alert and exercise to keep your brain in shape. In this way, it will be easier to learn and train than if a person remains static.
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