In 2014, neuroscience leapt out of the research laboratories and became an integral part of how we think (literally) about business. Here are the discoveries and insights that have changed the workplace over the past year:

Your brain uses words to interpret events. Therefore, the words that you attach to emotions determine how you experience those emotions.

If you use intense words (hate, stress, dread, etc.) describe how you feel in challenging situations, you intensify the fight/flight response, which is ineffective in business.

Relabeling your emotions with bland or positive words (dislike, excited, curious, etc.) makes a fight/flight response less likely, making you calmer in a pinch.

Once again, because your brain uses words to interpret events, fuzzy words create fuzzy thinking and vice-versa.

Training yourself to use shorter, less ambiguous words, enables your brain to more accurately characterize situations and thus devise effective, creative responses.

Three simple exercises can help you do this: 1) avoiding buzzwords and biz-blab, 2) simplifying your business writing, and 3) practicing the "one syllable" game.

Neuroscientists and psychologists have long studied how the human brain reacts to visual, audio and tactile experiences.

The correct combination of those experiences increasess the amount of information that an audience absorbs and retains.

Eight simple changes to your presentation (like an easily understood storyline) can vastly improve your ability to influence others.

The human brain contains mirror neurons that tend to make people imitate the behavior and thought processes of others.

Great leaders find ways to inspire their followers to have certainty that the leader's strategies and tactics will work.

Four simple changes to your management style can therefore make people more willing to follow your leadership.

It's intuitive that people are more willing to follow the lead of an optimist who seeks the positive rather than a pessimist who fears the negative.

Neuroscience can now explain why this is true: optimists have greater control of their thought processes and are less likely to panic.

Five basic mental habits help managers and leaders encourage and create the right attitude for their own success and the success of the teams they lead.

Published on: Dec 30, 2014
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