• Neil G.

Neuroscience - practical uses

Every November, the EMCC* in Ireland holds it's national conference. I've attended for the last couple of years and the event I joined back in 2016 was a great day.

There are always fascinating and entertaining speakers, including this year, executives from top companies with a large presence in Ireland, Microsoft and Intel, and also academics presenting their latest research.

We heard how company culture is changing in those two huge organisations using innovative coaching and mentoring programmes.

Two talks connected with neuroscience held my attention in particular. Without going into all the details, here are just two of the several things that I learned:

1 A little bit of stress is good for you, in fact, it's essential to achieve peak performance - the chart of performance achieved vs level of stress (indicated by brain chemistry measurements) looks like the profile of a hill; as stress levels rise, performance actually improves to a certain 'tipping point' after which performance declines with higher levels of stress; the ability to manage your stress levels to hold at that peak 'sweet spot' is a key skill that top performers in all fields display; to achieve your potential, get out of your comfort zone (pic: Forbes)

2 At any age, you can rewire your brain; in fact, it's how you learn any new skill or ability; each and every new experience you have forms a new pathway (for messages to travel) within the brain at a cellular level; as that experience is repeated (i.e. a skill is practiced) the pathway in the brain grows stronger, thicker, deeper until the point where messages travel that pathway effortlessly, and the skill/ability becomes effortless; that's how we learn, how we learn anything; and the brain never loses this ability to learn; you CAN teach an old dog new tricks

Of course, there was so much more that we went into, lots more details and technical language, I hope I've summarised for you in a way that gets the main messages across.

Knowledge like this is a small part of the skillset that coaches use to guide their clients to achieve amazing things. I'm privileged, honoured and grateful to be a part of the EMCC and part of the coaching profession.

*European Mentoring and Coaching Council

#coaching #habits #behaviour #science

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