Why I talk about neuroscience

Graphic image of blue human head with brain visible, and an expanded bubble showing the neurons firing.Have you heard of “neurobabble”?

Maybe you’ve heard of “neuroleadership,” “neuro-ethics,” “neuro-law,” and other – yes, I’ll say it – equally ridiculous terms.

I talk about neuroscience as it relates to change. And I freely admit that in doing so, I over-simplify complex topics, and could reasonably be accused of jumping on the neurobabble bandwagon. (At least I don’t talk about “neuro-change”!)

Could I make the same points without resorting to what I sometimes call “pop neuroscience”?

I could. But there are three primary reasons why I don’t.

  1. When I talk with people in tech (my primary audience and professional background) about the emotional reactions to change, their eyes tend to glaze over. When I ground those points in terms of the science – how the brain responds to change – they lean forward and become intrigued.
  2. Many people view empathy, understanding, and emotional intelligence as “soft” skills. Again, if I point out so-called “hard” science to back up my points, more people are open to the ideas and to learning the skills that follow understanding.
  3. In discussing options for training with clients, when I help them understand how the brain learns – initial concepts needing follow-on practice and support to be integrated into true learning – it’s easier for them to recognize the value of supportive practice and feedback after the official training program ends.

These understandings are important parts of how to successfully approach and lead change. It’s always necessary to recognize that different people are different and will react or respond differently at different times. But along with that, the basic high-level knowledge of brain responses is useful for a better understanding of what happens when people are faced with change.

I have a lot of experience working with small/medium technology companies on both internal change initiatives, and how they can support their clients through the changes caused by the technology they provide. Want to learn more? Contact me and we’ll set a time to talk.