15 Nov 2021


Leaders don’t create followers but they create leaders! They make a subtle shift from ‘driving’ their team members to developing their team members. With the current pipeline shortage of talent and need for a good second in command, this shift becomes critical. This however needs to be done well, in a focused manner and with efficiently.

Here is a scientific approach for senior managers and leaders to bring the best out of their people. It comes from some interesting facts that have come out from extensive study of the brain (contemporary neuroscience) and then applying these facts in leading teams towards peak performance and creating more leaders.

There are 6 approaches in all and we have tabbed them below:

The brain is a connecting machine

The brain is a complex connection of maps, sub-maps, sub-sub-maps and so on. These maps could take the form of our thoughts, memories, skills, attitudes, beliefs and preferences and all these are interconnected. Each map, it is found, has millions of connections. Every time there is a new bit of information, the brain connects it with the existing maps by comparing, associating and matching. The brain seeks order at all times. When we are able to see how one piece connects with the other, there is a release of energy which motivates and drives actions. Connecting maps is like connecting the ‘dots’, which enables logical reasoning in the actions that are performed. Many a time we ask our team members to do things, without them really buying into them. As we take on the position of leaders and become responsible to manage teams, it is imperative that we facilitate the process of connecting the dots and thus providing scope for ‘buy-in’. This is used generally by engaging the team member in a ‘coaching conversation’, which is so different from the usual ‘instructional’ or ‘telling’ style of management or leadership. Understanding the maps of the team members and then helping them ‘fit in’ the new piece of information would be a win-win way to opt for. This also recognizes the importance of the ‘thoughts and feelings’ of the individual team member enhancing his/her self esteem, gives him an opportunity to think through the situation, and finally automatically motivates towards action. Coaching also helps when the team member has hit an ‘impasse’ by helping the member think through a problem and make the connections possible. Thus, today’s leaders would be far more effective when they understand this first principle about the brain, and take on a coaching style of helping team members connect their dots; thereby energizing them towards fruitful action.

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