A truly effective training and development program addresses all parts of the brain. Yet people are often referred to as being left-brained or right-brained, as if they're controlled by one side or the other. The fact is that we all have two brain hemispheres and unless they communicate with each other, neither hemisphere will work very well. Furthermore, there are 2 deeper levels of the brain, the mammalian and reptilian brains, that often supersede the higher-level functioning of the left and right brains.
Although our behavior and performance are affected by the interaction between all of these levels, most training & development programs focus only on the top level. Our whole-brain approach creates a more comprehensive view of performance problems, and it allows us to tailor activities that restore brain connections and boost performance.
Problem: Undesirable Behavior
Susan is a normally efficient executive assistant, but lately she's been confusing her priorities and not finishing things on time. How can we get Susan to be her old self again?
Mary, a talented salesperson, has been in a slump. She's become disorganized and is late for everything. How can we get her on track again?
John is a brilliant IT guy but he antagonizes people and gets into arguments. Is there some easy way to improve his social skills?
Analysis: Brain-Based Causes
Susan, our executive assistant, keeps her right and left brains active, which allows her to be extremely efficient. However, she is very emotional and when she is under pressure her mammalian brain takes over.
Mary, our super salesperson, is naturally a right-brain person. She's personable, outgoing, communicative, and understands people. She is at her best when her left brain does its part, keeping her natural talents well organized, keeping her aware of details and logical. But if she has too much to do, her right brain takes over and she temporarily loses her ability to keep track of things like time and details.
John, our IT expert, is naturally left-brained. He likes to focus on details and do things systematically. This makes him good with computers. He uses his right brain to keep track of all the projects he is working on. But if he is challenged about any aspect of his job, his reptilian brain will make him aggressive and his left brain will provide arguments to support why he is right.
Solution: Brain-Friendly Practices
Understanding the underlying brain connections is the key to fixing these problems. In all of these cases unproductive behavior could be corrected with just a few hours of Brain Upgrade activities.