Neuroscience is helping us develop new ideas and methods of leadership. When we learn, certain networks become active, but like anything else, they become inactive when not used.

Neuroimaging and neurostimulation studies have shown that networks within multiple-demand cortex (parts of the frontal and parietal cortex) were most active when learning was taking place and declined as the subject matter became familiar (Sliwinska, 2017).

Constant learning is needed to keep your brain in top health. Just like your muscles, your brain needs a regular workout. Fortunately, a plethora of vocabulary games exist that you can play on paper or on a digital device. Instead of mindlessly flipping through Facebook, consider grabbing a vocab game and stretching out on some grass. Your mind and body will thank you!


Make it a game. Pick a new word every day and expand your vocabulary. Many dictionary websites choose a word for you. Try to incorporate this word naturally into a conversation. Some words may be more challenging than others! You can probably use perturbed pretty easily (upset or anxious), but what about defenestrate (throw someone out of a window)?

This creative mind game is good for your brain, and continuous learning will help you build and maintain neural connections. Include your friends and coworkers and make it a collaborative effort. While everyone may not be on board, it’s pretty easy to bring out the competitive nature of others and see who can use a word in the best context.

Few activities are as delightful as learning new vocabulary.

Tim Gunn

Learning new words should be fun. If you are reading a book or article and happen to come across a word that you don’t quite know the meaning of, take a second to look it up. Your brain is a machine, and feeding it constantly is one way to keep it happy.


Your communication skills can help you become a better leader. Improved communication means improved collaboration—which leads to improved results. Ever-changing virtual teams and changing boundaries mean that you need a new form of communication to ensure that collaboration can even take place.

Embrace the opportunity to give your brain a daily dose of learning, even if it’s just one vocabulary word at a time. Keeping your mind and body in sync will have a positive impact on how you make decisions and how you lead and inspire others. You can be innovative with great communication and collaboration skills.

Sliwinska, M. W., Violante, I. R., Wise, R. J. S., Leech, R., Devlin, J. T., Geranmayeh, F., & Hampshire, A. (2017). Stimulating Multiple-Demand Cortex Enhances Vocabulary Learning. The Journal of Neuroscience, 37(32), 7606–7618.

Originally posted on: 23 November 2017
Last updated on: 18 February 2024

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Silvia Damiano

Silvia Damiano

Founder & CEO
About my Brain Institute

Scientist, educator, author, speaker, coach, award-winning leadership specialist, filmmaker and creator of the i4 Neuroleader Model & Methodology.

Silvia's scientific background and curiosity about the human brain led her to a decade long journey of research into optimal brain functioning and the application of neuroscience in leadership and daily life. Her past and current roles have uniquely prepared her for the current undertaking, that of leadership activist & change agent.

Silvia Damiano founded The About my Brain Institute in 2009, with the purpose of democratising leadership & neuroscience. She has a passionately held belief, that leaders in our 21st century global economy and their organisations must radically change long-held ideas of what constitutes effective leadership

In her ground-breaking books ‘Leadership is Upside Down’, ‘Brain-Friendly Leadership’ and the 2018 documentary ‘Make Me A Leader’, Silvia provides both compelling evidence and explores the importance of leadership in our personal and professional lives and what it takes to develop the human behind the leader.

Silvia has worked in different countries, across many industries, helping teams and organisations improve business performance. Silvia’s clients have described her as a passionate, dynamic, a highly experienced speaker and master facilitator on the topics of Emotional Intelligence, Cultural Change, Neuroleadership & Engagement.

Silvia is passionate about leaving a legacy of well-rounded leaders who can act and decide in a way that better serves humanity. Her clients include Microsoft, Australian Stock Exchange, NSW Government, VISA, Fuji Xerox and Manpower amongst many other global companies.

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