Do Managers Want to Know About the Brain?

by Anne P. Kreitzberg on Jan 24, 2013

Do Managers Want to Know About the Brain?

I have to confess that I'm not sure that the typical manager spends a whole lot of time thinking about the brain - nor, frankly, if the idea would seem relevant - or too daunting a subject to tackle. 

Take a look at this short video What Managers Should Know About the Brain produced by Linda Ray, an Australian consultant on neuroscience in the workplace. 

It's not 'brain surgery' - just some very simple concepts that can help you to remember that sometimes it's the brain (not a personality or character flaw) that causes people to act the way they do. 

One of the points that Ray makes is that people hate uncertainty; they seek predictability.  

We've all experienced this first-hand. Rumors abound. Meetings go longer - and don't result in any decisions being made. People are afraid to do the wrong thing, so they act very busy (surfing the web, playing games, checking Facebook - or writing lengthy emails that half the people on the distribution list wonder why they received it.)  

Another point Ray makes is that people should not be micromanaged.

When my brother was young, my dad grew very annoyed to have to constantly remind him to do his chores. My brother's reaction was quite simple and logical. "Why bother to keep a list of things I need to do. Sooner or later dad will remind me - or change his mind and decide I need to do something else." 

A great illustration of Ray's point: when you tell people exactly what to do, they get used to not thinking for themselves. 

I'm not sure I would agree with all of Ray's suggestions but I'm not going to give them away. Watch the video and let me know what you think.


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