What our brains reveals_LI

What Our Brain Reveals About Emotions & Learning

Development plans should include working on competencies that are either required to perform better in your current role or to prepare you for a future role. But did you know that you may not be as open to all learning?

What our brains reveals_LI

Development plans should include working on competencies that are either required to perform better in your current role or to prepare you for a future role. But did you know that you may not be as open to all learning?

If only we could uncover our own or our staff’s hidden beliefs silently undermining any development efforts? TTI Success Insight’s Center for Applied Cognitive Research (this our strategic partner) is doing just that, and the results may surprise you and solve many of your training dilemmas. 

One of the assessments we use is the TriMetrix® DNA™ part of which measures competence in 25 work-related skills. You can find more information about this assessment on our website’s Assessment Centre page. TTI SI started 

with assessment volunteer candidates for this research project. They  knew exactly which competencies were well-developed, developed, moderately developed or not yet developed. That was the baseline.

Their research affirmed that skills are experience-based but most importantly, that each one is connected to an emotional reaction. The emotional reaction can be positive, negative or neutral. Someone with a positive reaction to a competency/skill, will have a positive learning experience in the particular skill that they have a positive emotional reaction to. While someone with an emotional aversion to a competency/skill may not. Some people don’t necessarily have a positive or negative emotional reaction thus likely little impact on their learning to either extreme.

In the TTI SI lab, they are deep into neuroscience. During the trials, this is what they found a brain looks like when there is a positive, neutral and negative response to a learning event:

Brain_Emotions_975x418

Our research affirms skills are experience based and tied directly to emotional reactions.

Dr. Ron Bonstetter, Senior Vice-President of Research & Development, TTI Success Insights

The key finding from this research is to uncover any negative assumptions, beliefs or self doubts that you or your staff may have with respect to the learning prior to designing a learning and development plan.

The Implications

According to TTI SI, “The big takeaway is that some marginally developed skills may be extremely difficult to be more proficient in, due to negative subconscious emotional baggage people unknowingly hold on to as deep beliefs about themself.”  Furthermore, “When an individual holds strong beliefs, it may be easier to develop skills for which they have little or no previous experience than to tackle a developmental plan encumbered by self-doubt or worse, total aversion to the concept.” 

Want to Learn More?

You can download the full white paper by clicking here.

Resilience_LinkedIN

When the Going Gets Tough: Coping

“No one escapes pain, fear, and suffering. Yet from pain can come wisdom, from fear can come courage, from suffering can come strength – if we have the virtue of resilience.”

— Eric Greitens, Resilience: Hard-won wisdom for living a better life

Resilience_LinkedIN

According to apa.org ,“Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress—such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors.”

Those two words, “adapting well” in that definition make all the difference as to how resilient you actually are. They continue on by saying “With the right tools and supports in place, one thing is sure: You will not only make it through the challenges of your river adventure.You will also merge a more confident and courageous rafter.”

Adapting Well

Honestly, I couldn’t imagine white water rafting – not sure that I am ready to develop that type of resilience but I have made it through some tough challenges and I know that I am more resilient as a result.” I used to say, how much broader do my shoulders need to be…well, as it turns out that developing our resilience is an ongoing exercise. Each instance strengthens our coping muscles so that we come out stronger and better prepared for future challenges.

No matter what challenges we experience, one thing we can control is how we respond to them. Some coping strategies are negative or even destructive, while others are positive and life-affirming. Some people try to avoid the situation, others resort to alcohol to numb the pain, but some manage to tap into resources of inner strength that they never knew they had.

Your Story

Think Back to a Time...

Think about challenges you’ve experienced in the past, and take some time to reflect and list some of them.

Ask yourself these questions: 

  • How did I cope at the time? 
  • How would I cope now in that same situation?
  • Has anything changed?
  • Which of my coping strategies are positive, and which ones are negative?

Share your Story

Would you like to share your story of a situation from your past? If so, we would love to hear about it. Tell us what the situation was. How you coped then. How you might cope differently today? How you have grown as a result of the challenge and increased your resilience. 

If you would like to share your story with me, please do so in confidence through my Google Forms link by clicking here. The link will take you to a Google Form with the questions above. If your story is chosen as one that would be great to share, we will only do so with your express written permission.

Burnout_LinkedIN

Burnout from Introversion and Extroversion Perspectives

All of the resources in the world can’t prevent an inevitable amount of stress. No matter how well informed or prepared you are, you’re going to feel the effects of stress, especially in such a long-term stressful situation like a pandemic. This stress can often lead to burnout, which is dangerous for mental and physical health.



Burnout_LinkedIN

What is Burnout?

Brain burnout isn’t the same thing as being overly stressed. It can be caused by prolonged periods of being stressed; however, the symptoms must be different. “Burnout is most commonly seen in people who are overworked or are having difficulty separating their home and work life,” says Dr. Ron Bonnstetter, Senior Vice President of Research and Development at TTI Success Insights. “Unlike general stress, brain burnout manifests as emotional damage, suppression, detachment, and depression.”

"Burnout is most commonly seen in people who are overworked or are having difficulty separating their home and work life."

Since so many people have been working remotely and are struggling to adjust, burnout is on the rise. It’s not something to take lightly.

What’s the Difference Between Extroversion and Introversion?

Extroversion

Are energized from other people and the world around them. They enjoy expressing themselves, communicating with others, making connections, talking through problems, and are relatively optimistic, according to Healthline. Extroverts might be Direct, Outgoing, Dynamic, and Pioneering, or some combination of those traits.

Introversion

Are energized from their own presence. They prefer time alone, careful consideration, avoiding conflict, and lots of ‘me’ time. Introverts might be Reflective, Reserved, Steady, or Precise, or again, some combination of those traits.

Ambiversion

Ambiverts have behavioural traits of both introversion and extroversion depending on any number of factors. That’s why sometimes an ambivert wants to join or create the party yet other times, would just prefer some solitude. Many people would fall into the ambivert category.

Extrovert_Element
Introvert_Element

What’s the Difference Between Extroversion and Introversion?

“Extroverts begin to suffer burnout most often when their work and or personal relationships are stressed or hampered,” explained Dr. Bonnstetter. “This can be when they’re unable to meet, connect, and enjoy the company of friends, family, and co-workers on a regular basis.”

They often begin to feel emotionally off and struggle with tiredness, emotionally blunted, and depression.

What Does Burnout Look Like for Extroverts?

“Extroverts begin to suffer burnout most often when their work and or personal relationships are stressed or hampered,” explained Dr. Bonnstetter. “This can be when they’re unable to meet, connect, and enjoy the company of friends, family, and co-workers on a regular basis.”

They often begin to feel emotionally off and struggle with tiredness, emotionally blunted, and depression.

How Can Extroverts Fight Burnout?

A big way Extroverts can fight burnout is by acknowledging their own feelings and communicating with others. Making genuine emotional connections right now is more important than ever; call an old friend, reconnect with friends in a socially distant hang, or write some letters.

When it comes to acknowledging your feelings, that self awareness is more important than ever. The emotional bluntness or numbness might feel like coping, but it actually means you are ignoring your feelings. Shoving down emotions will only speed up the process towards burnout.

Increase your self awareness and let yourself feel your feelings! Remember that all feelings end eventually, so even if things feel particularly bleak right now, it’s going to change in the future.

 

What Does Burnout Look Like for Introverts?

Introverts begin to suffer burnout when their daily routines or work and life balance are disrupted for extended periods of time. This is obviously and unfortunately something we have all been handling for the last six months.

When this happens, introverts often begin to feel a lack of motivation. they struggle with creativity and new ideas, and can begin to feel a sense of helplessness and hopelessness. These feelings result in anxiety, depression and a heightened sense of dread.

How can Introverts Fight Burnout?

Introverts suffering from a lack of routine need to take matters into their own hands! Wake up at the same time, take a lunch break away from your work, exercise and handle chores, and make sure to actually sign off from work when your day is done. The stricter you can be with your day-to-day, the better off you’ll be.

Another way introverts can battle burnout is to give their creativity a boost. Their internal world is very important, since that is precisely where Introverts gather their energy.

Try to tackle creative blocks by learning an entirely new skill! Studying a different language, taking up painting or sculpting, or trying to teach yourself a complicated recipe are all mindful, grounding activities, and might subconsciously get the creative juices flowing.

What Else Can You Do to Fight Burnout?

Introverts and extroverts alike need to handle their stress before it results in true brain burnout. The good news is that you’ve already got started by reading these tips!

In this time, the importance of mental health cannot be overstated. Stigmas around therapy and psychiatry have improved in recent years, but are not entirely eliminated. If you’re struggling right now, seek out the help of a professional.

Just in the same way we get regular physicals at the general practitioner, regular check ups for mental health are a great proactive measure!

In light of other problems, it’s all too easy to shrug off our own inner turmoil. However, doing that will result in burnout, which has physical, mental, and emotional ramifications. Take care of yourself right now, so you can handle whatever life throws at you in the future.

Burnout_Fight

Adapted from TTI Success Insights 

Crystal Ball

Do You Know What Engages You?

So many people have uttered the words, “I wish I could work in a job that’s truly right for me.” Yet, very few people really know what their ideal job actually is. How can someone get a better understanding of what career is right for them so they can close the gap between working a job and fulfilling a passion? So, what do I need? A crystal ball?

Potential and Passion
Crystal Ball

According to a recent article by Jordan Devos for Toptal.com, Maslow determined that the greatest human desire is to reach our personal potential. “What a man can be, he must be.” This typically happens through personal growth and learning new things. 

In terms of the purpose of a project, personal potential is put into action when it aligns with a personal passion. Ikigai, a Japanese concept meaning “a reason for being,” states that passion consists of what you love and what you’re good at. Reaching your potential in an area that you enjoy can have a profound effect on you and your work. It can contribute to your personal happiness, inspire a team, or positively impact the lives of others. Whatever the contribution is, your passion and expertise have the opportunity to be at full capacity.

Finding Your Purpose

Most people can generally tell the difference between what makes them feel good and what does not. However, they don’t always understand why they feel that way. 

Assessments are a great way to uncover insights and find out the how, the what and the why behind the things we do on a regular basis. Until we truly know ourselves, we may simply be repeating the cycle of working one unsatisfying job after another.

Simon Sinek states, “Once you understand your WHY, you’ll be able to clearly articulate what makes you feel fulfilled and you’ll better understand what drives your behavior when you’re at your natural best.”

How do I Find My WHY?

Not with a crystal ball. Assessments help to uncover these answers – objectively. I like to use an assessment as the benchmark of your absolute True North. Using assessments effectively is a lot like putting together a puzzle. At first, you have a lot of pieces but you’re not quite sure what to do with them. As the puzzle starts to come together, it gets easier and easier to get to the finish line. Using multiple assessments together has the same effect. The more information you have about yourself, the easier it will be to find your purpose and either find a job that matches it or reshape your perspective in your current role.

If you’re one of my clients, you have likely already taken an assessment that uncovered your primary driving forces. If so, have you taken it to the next step  by identifying specific values words that support your primary driving forces? 

For those of you who haven’t yet used one of our assessments, please feel free to email me or DM me to request a complimentary report and debrief. 

Previous Posts

EX – Employee Experience

For decades organizations have been talking about employee engagement and it continues to be a bit of a vague concept. Yes, there are surveys that can act as a benchmark for subsequent surveys to measure progress.All too often organizations will launch a few initiatives in the hope that another hole might be plugged. 

Consider what it does for your perspective when we change the expression from employee engagement to employee experience (EX). There are a number of definitions of this term including this one from Forbes: “A set of perceptions that employees have about their experiences at work in response to their interactions with the organization.”

Although various organization-wide events throughout the year such as staff BBQs are often welcomed, these one-off events need to be part of the bigger picture. Employee engagement is the end goal which represents commitment to your organization and results in positive job performance and attainment of organizational results.

When does the EX begin? It begins during the hiring process and continues on every single day throughout an employee’s tenure with your organization. 

Think about your own employee experience or consider your team’s employee experience.

  1. What comes to mind? 
  2. As a leader, what is one thing you can do consistently to improve your team’s employee experience?

Happy Friday!

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