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In collaboration with Dr Kaushik Ram, the About my Brain Institute is proud to launch a new program to expand your coaching skills and learn new processes to transform your practice: “Neurobiology of Coaching, Wellbeing & Brain-Friendly Practices”.
During a recent chat with Dr Ram (see video below), we discussed the upcoming program to help answer questions coaches and leaders may have before embarking on this journey of discovery. A brain-friendly coach helps clients become healthier and happier, and this program will provide the tools needed to support the brains and bodies of those you work with.
Performance is a very broad area of research, so to make it easier to understand and process how to improve mental performance, we’ve broken it into four key pillars--mental readiness, balance, integration and ethics.
Mental readiness means we are mentally prepared to face a situation or challenge. Our brains are always ‘on’ in our busy world, and distractions are constant. How can we ensure that our brains are ready to perform when a million things are pulling at our attention?
Mental readiness means we are focused, confident, motivated and resilient. Goal setting, visualisation and positive self-talk can help people cultivate a more proactive mindset, enhancing performance and wellbeing while reducing doubt and anxiety.
Why would improving mental readiness be helpful for our clients? Situations that require high levels of concentration and rapid decision-making require a ready and willing brain. Ensuring that we can cope with unexpected events means we are mentally prepared to cope with these challenges effectively.
Balancing the body and the brain can be tricky but is well worth the effort. We cannot have optimal performance with just the brain or just the body. Rather, they are both required, and we must create a harmonious relationship between them.
Fortunately, there are several methods to help promote balance. Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and paying attention to your thoughts and feelings without judgement. Encouraging a healthy diet, enough sleep and regular exercise also promote balance.
Connecting with others can also promote mental and physical health. Spending time with friends and family, perhaps while walking in nature or playing something fun like pickleball, can help create a more balanced and harmonious relationship between the body and the brain.
Integration refers to the effective functioning of various components of the brain and body that create a healthy biological system. Brain integration is critical regarding coaching and leadership effectiveness and general health and wellbeing.
What is an integrated system like, and how would this benefit our clients? An integrated system is evident in someone who is mostly calm but also alert, responsive, mindful and energetic. Imagine supporting clients not yet experiencing integration and the myriad of positive changes they can look forward to.
The prefrontal cortex, which sits just behind the forehead in our skulls, is involved in decision-making, planning and abstract reasoning. Ensuring this structure is working properly is vital for consistent and effective leadership. The brain is such a powerful tool, so why not learn how to support integration to enhance performance?
So often we lean to performance-enhancers to help us mimic integration. Substances such as caffeine can give us a temporary edge but often leave side effects to be dealt with later. Improving cognitive function can help the brain and body communicate, and we should not rely on chemical means to create a similar effect.
In today’s online world, ethics seem to be forgotten. Keyboard warriors say hateful things behind anonymous veils, causing damage to individuals and businesses. People may argue that confronting this decline in ethics can stifle progress. However, we can move forward with the right morals and practices in place.
Our personal ethics shape who we are, and addictions can make it easier to bend or break our own rules. Money, greed and power drive many people in positions of power, be they political or in the business world. Learning to stay true to your ethics in such challenging conditions is a hallmark of a neuroleader.
Teaching clients to become more ethical requires a shift in thinking. We must be aware of our addictions and be willing to honestly reflect on how we are doing as a leader, parent, friend or caregiver. When the brain and body work together to form a robust and ethical foundation, our decision-making and resourcefulness will improve.
It is easy to talk about performance from a brain perspective. Many programs address mindset and neuroscience, but only a few also take the body into account. This program will ensure you have the skills and tools to support yourself or your clients while increasing performance.
The answer is yes if any of the following apply:
When we optimise performance on a truly biological level, from the brain to all parts of the body, we can expect positive improvements in other areas, including collaboration, innovation and agility. We have an opportunity to awaken abilities we might not regularly use in the workplace, such as imagination and creativity.
We, as a workforce, have never faced circumstances like those of today. Some people are leading people remotely, or people who work at home and the office or people who work onsite all the time. How can we influence and inspire people to help them adapt to this new world?
Learning how to coach from a biological perspective is better than telling people to simply change. People are less receptive to commands, but they are more likely to make changes when they understand how their brain and body can become synchronised for better results.
When people create policies for others without understanding the brain and body and how they interact, they limit performance. People will come together in a state of harmony when their wellbeing is supported. And employees are rightfully starting to expect and demand these working conditions.
Employers may need to learn how to drive employee wellbeing, so this program is aimed at coaches and leaders who want to better understand themselves and how to improve wellbeing. Leaders should be role models for others, so as coaches, we should also model brain-friendly practices to our clients.
Dr Ram and I invite you to acquire a neurocoaching mindset and explore how to optimise brain and body function. Learn more about our program the “Neurobology of Coaching, Wellbeing & Brain-Friendly Practices” here!
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.