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While we often think of the brain as the command centre of our bodies, we tend to overlook the functions of the heart. Most people understand how the heart pumps blood, which carries oxygen and wastes around the body. But the heart starts beating after only a few weeks in a tiny foetus, long before the brain is formed. And the heart keeps pumping on, in some cases, when the brain has died. Understanding more about our hearts and the connection that our hearts have with our emotional, physical and mental well-being is critical.
Giving your heart a voice, and listening to what it says will increase your agility in the workplace. As a leader, you must continually adapt to changing technology, regulations, and client demands. Instead of only relying on your brain to make decisions, consider syncing your heart and brain to work together as a team to increase your intuition.
The heart has a direct link with the vagus nerve, and scientists now understand that the heart has an elaborate communication system with the brain, quite unlike any of our other organs. Researchers have found substantial evidence that the heart is more complicated than we initially believed; indeed, it is so much more than just a pump. Heart rate patterns can unlock secrets about health and emotional well-being. The idea of ‘coherence,' or that the parts make up the whole in a logical, orderly way has profound social, emotional, mental, and performance benefits (Edwards, 2015).
You may scoff at the notion that the heart is anything more than an organ that moves blood. However, evidence has shown that the heart does do more. Think about a typical day. Perhaps you get up, get ready, rush to work, complete task after task with no respite, rush home to tend to chores or children, or other obligations, eat a quick dinner and then sit in front of the TV until you fall asleep. While your details might vary, most of us are following this kind of pattern.
Unfortunately, this isn’t sustainable over a long-term period. You will burn out. Your agility and intuition will shrivel up if they aren’t used. Do you want something more? Then start listening to your heart. Touch your heart often and breathe with your heart.
To improve your agility in this fast-paced world, you are likely going to have to make some changes. Your intuition, that inner voice that guides you, can be such a valuable resource. The can give you the tools to retrain your brain and can help your heart and mind work efficiently together. You will become a more agile, intuitive leader.
Ancient cultures often believed that the heart was the major organ of the body, not the brain. Modern science is unlocking the secrets of our minds, but the connection between the heart and brain is often overlooked. Use your amazing body to its full potential. Let your heart sing, and imagine how effective you can be when your heart has a voice.
Edwards, Stephen D. (2015) HeartMath: a positive psychology paradigm for promoting psychophysiological and global coherence, Journal of Psychology in Africa, 25:4, 367-374
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.