How neuroscience can elevate HR leadership

by John Day02 Aug 2018

HR often revolves around compliance and restructuring with little time for what most people were attracted to when entering the profession: resourcing humans to fulfil their potential.

That’s according to Britt Christiansen, director of The Ripple Effect.

Christiansen told HRD that no matter whether your role is task-focused or people-focused, strategic or tactical, you can enhance your impact by learning how to activate the parts of the brain that trigger trust and innovation.

“Leaders should move people from being resistant and sceptical to being trusting and co-creating, and do so in an authentic way.”

Indeed, Christiansen will be speaking at the National HR Summit New Zealand on the topic of Authentic leadership for HR directors.

To back up her claims, Christiansen cited a study by Stanford University which found that nine out of 10 conversations miss the mark.

“If you want to be an authentic leader, a great place to start is understanding the role you play in those conversations missing the mark and, importantly, what you can do to change that statistic for yourself and for others.”

Christiansen added that Conversational Intelligence is a practical framework based on neuroscience for building trust and understanding, focusing on how our conversations shape relationships, culture and reality.

“It is the hardwired and learnable ability to connect, navigate and grow with others- a necessity in building healthier and more resilient organisations in the face of change,” said Christiansen.

“Conversational Intelligence begins with elevating the levels of trust that we create with others and ends with the quality of the interactions and conversations that result.”

So if Christiansen could give one piece of advice to HR professionals what would it be?

“Every time we interact with someone our brains are deciding if you are a friend or a foe,” she said.

“By understanding what's actually happening in the brain when we have conversations you'll be able to transform your own interactions and be a powerful role model to your team members.”

“Before you have any important conversation ask yourself ‘What is my intention for this conversation and what impact do I want to have?’

“You might achieve your intention but if you are coming from a place of anger, distrust, being right, being the boss, wanting the conversation to be over and done with etc, what impact do you think you'll have?”

The New Zealand National HR Summit will take place on 21 August 2018 at the Hilton Auckland. To register, click here

HR often revolves around compliance and restructuring with little time for what most people were attracted to when entering the profession: resourcing humans to fulfil their potential.

That’s according to Britt Christiansen, director of The Ripple Effect.

Christiansen told HRD that no matter whether your role is task-focused or people-focused, strategic or tactical, you can enhance your impact by learning how to activate the parts of the brain that trigger trust and innovation.

“Leaders should move people from being resistant and sceptical to being trusting and co-creating, and do so in an authentic way.”

Indeed, Christiansen will be speaking at the National HR Summit New Zealand on the topic of Authentic leadership for HR directors.

To back up her claims, Christiansen cited a study by Stanford University which found that nine out of 10 conversations miss the mark.

“If you want to be an authentic leader, a great place to start is understanding the role you play in those conversations missing the mark and, importantly, what you can do to change that statistic for yourself and for others.”

Christiansen added that Conversational Intelligence is a practical framework based on neuroscience for building trust and understanding, focusing on how our conversations shape relationships, culture and reality.

“It is the hardwired and learnable ability to connect, navigate and grow with others- a necessity in building healthier and more resilient organisations in the face of change,” said Christiansen.

“Conversational Intelligence begins with elevating the levels of trust that we create with others and ends with the quality of the interactions and conversations that result.”

So if Christiansen could give one piece of advice to HR professionals what would it be?

“Every time we interact with someone our brains are deciding if you are a friend or a foe,” she said.

“By understanding what's actually happening in the brain when we have conversations you'll be able to transform your own interactions and be a powerful role model to your team members.”

“Before you have any important conversation ask yourself ‘What is my intention for this conversation and what impact do I want to have?’

“You might achieve your intention but if you are coming from a place of anger, distrust, being right, being the boss, wanting the conversation to be over and done with etc, what impact do you think you'll have?”

The New Zealand National HR Summit will take place on 21 August 2018 at the Hilton Auckland. To register, click here.

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