While working these past two weeks in Spain running workshops and presenting seminars on how we can use the knowledge of the brain in organizations - we came across a very talented glass blower who has been sculpting for 30 years. His studio is in a very pretty area called “Spanish Village” (Pueblo Espanol) in the hilly neighbourhoods of Barcelona.  


We fell in love with his work and he made for us two unique pieces as trophies for the Brain Art Awards. Thank you Juan Manuel Caparros for creating such fine pieces in so short a time.

Working across cultures can be really fun and enriching. I was interviewed via radio in Cataluña, together with author and pharmacologist Dr. Albert Figueras who spoke about the power of oxytocin. This is a hormone that helps us bond with others and develop trusting relationships. The interview went on for one hour and was on air the day of the federal elections.

What was amazingly fun is that except for the fact that I was speaking in Spanish, the interview was conducted by well-known journalist Gaspar Hernandez in Catalan, the language of the region, despite the fact that everyone in the room spoke Spanish.

Gaspar also has a TV program called Emotional Bricolage which is followed by those who are interested in understanding the role that emotions play in our lives.

I must say that even though we were speaking in different tongues, everyone tried to make me feel welcome and at home, through smiles, hugs and humour. I felt at ease straight away and this reminded me of the importance of trust.

I remembered a research paper I read a while ago about what happens in the brain when we meet people. Some people we avoid - others we approach, some we find interesting, some boring, some we trust and some we do not.

This article by Ralph Adolphs, from the University of Iowa, explains what happens in the brain when we make these judgments. When we look at someone’s face, the brain first needs to construct a perceptual representation that provides information about the features of the face and their configuration - a process that draws on certain parts of the brain.

Perceptual processing of facial features can then be linked to the generation of judgments about the person. Different areas of the brain are involved when we look at someone’s face, assess their facial expressions and decide if they are to be trusted or not.

For those who are interested in developing more trust with others at work or in life, it comes down to a very simple thing. This quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson says it all,

The only way to have a friend is to be one.

With Christmas fast approaching, and Christmas messages ringing in our ears about ‘Joy to the World’ and ‘Peace on Earth’ etc.,-  now is the time for us all to remember, share and display, all the best human qualities of trust, warmth, love and friendship.

Merry Xmas everyone!

Diploma - superearlybird Neurobiology of Coaching, Wellbeing & Brain-Friendly Practices

Published on:
13 December 2010

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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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