The Science of Performance

We all have a natural instinct to be on guard. From the evolution of the human species, our flight or fight mechanisms distract us from being ready and willing to receive information in a logical, objective manner. In neuroscience, this is referred to as the limbic system, aka the reptilian or monkey brain. It satisfies our primal instinct to make quick decisions to survive.

In business, this instinct of the monkey brain causes conflict in two ways. One, we have a tendency to speak at people, in a demanding decisive manner. Two, because of how we receive and process information we inadvertently absorb content on the defense. The cycle on how this works causes a negative, close-minded reaction and is the fundamental break down of many of our relationships. More over, the monkey brain is so strong it has a tendency to block out any logical and creative thoughts.

On the opposite side of our neurological makeup, is the conscious mind or prefrontal cortex (PFC). This is the creative, logical part of our make up. The conscious mind is the positive attractor that allows us to build strong relationships and operate in a high-performing state – where we can be more creative, more open to new ideas, and better able to solve problems. By utilizing this side of our neurological essence, we can interact with others in a deep, thoughtful, caring manner.

The monkey brain talks at people, ie. “Mike, that approach was all wrong.” Whereas the conscious mind would pose a question to allow for a thoughtful, open-minded discussion, i.e. “Mike, how did you think that went?” Questioning is a great technique to disarm the automatic flight or fight response which allows for the receiver of the question to be creative with their response. This, in turn, gives the receiver of the information purpose and control.

In short, by understanding how we’re wired we can refine our approach toward others to influence a more collaborative outcome. Modifying how you communicate can allow for more inclusive and stronger relationships. Thus, driving performance and growing your business.

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We then follow techniques from neuroscience, psychology, adult learning, and leadership to create customized performance improvement plans focused on moving you from good to great.

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jim.knittel@ascendpg.com

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