Monday, 10 September 2012

You, Your World and Your Brain

One of the things I’ve been doing a lot of in the past couple of months is talking with my colleague, Professor Patricia Riddell about the interrelation between neuroscience and change and indeed neuroscience and coaching and neuroscience and NLP and a whole bunch of other things too.  And the net result of this has been that we have both found this very stimulating and so this is the beginning of something which you will be seeing the fruits of certainly in the new year in the form of a major programme that is gonna be neuroscience the real deal. 

But right now one of the things that has really struck us is how there are these simple things that have come out of the neuroscience research that make an enormous difference on how people function and we just wanted to get some of those out.  So this coming week for instance, on Thursday, we are going to be talking for an hour and a half on some of these themes and we’ve been thinking about what would be an interesting sort of area to explore, well we started very detailed and then it became broader and then we ended up with You, Your World and Your Brain.  That’s our working title so we seem to be encompassing pretty much everything, not bad for 90 minutes. 

But there is a lot of correlation here between the way you use your brain, your sense of yourself and the world you create and it shows up in some interesting ways, for instance, one of the things we wanna touch on is how people are frequently much better at empathising with other people than with themselves.  Now you might think that that’s kinda odd, you know, surely you can understand how it is for you, well yes and no, actually the data is in, this is something which is very clear from the neuroscience research, people empathise with others much more effectively that they do with themselves.  Now that’s got a lot of implications if you wanna be effective for instance, because you would need to learn how to empathise with yourself.  And there are ways of doing that that have been tried and tested and surprise, surprise we find that there is a large overlap here with what we found works in NLP.  So there’s an example, that a very simple one but actually a rather profound one of how the way you engage with yourself effects the world you live in and understanding that your brain is not really wired for self-empathy means you can do something about that and your life will be, not only will you feel better, your life will be, I think, much better generally because you’ll be more capable of understanding what’s going on in yourself. 

So there’s a simple example and we are gonna actually explore that practicalities what do you do in order to be able to have that kind of empathy, how would you be able to best advise another how can you best advise yourself.  In the same way a lot of people have very uneasy relationships with their own internal dialog, you know I can think of many people I’ve worked with that have positively felt persecuted by their internal dialog, but another way of understanding those from a neuroscience point of view is that your inner voice is actually part of how you are enabled to ensure effective communication between one part of your brain and another.  You know there’s gotta be somebody who is introducing parties so to say and getting ideas across.  Now that is a completely different function for internal dialog and again that’s a learnable skill, but understanding why internal dialog would be really valuable again that’s kind of useful and knowing how to do it even more so, the research is there we already know this, so as Patricia and I talk about these things, it becomes very clear that there are a lot of practical pay offs.  And then there are others, we will get to these in the evening, but for instance have you ever had that experience where you recall something that happened that wasn’t so great and you feel excruciating embarrassment when you think about it and then you talk to someone else about it and they can barely remember it even happening?  Well there’s something going on there, that’s how your brain works and there’s particular attention to detail and we want to be able to show people how we can change this and get a radically different understanding of what’s going on.  

Anyway, all sorts of interesting things, I find it very stimulating and hopefully you will to.

So till the next time.

To listen to this audioboo: