What's new in neuroscience for coaches?
9th August 2017 | Amy Brann
How to keep up with new scientific developments
A lot has moved forward in the last 3 years. We’re at an interesting time because there is currently a dichotomy. There is certainly an infestation of people using terms and images to try to afford their offering more credibility than it perhaps deserves. But there are also a wide range of high profile people accessing and underpinning their input with great science.
Has anything changed over the last 3 years in neuroscience? ABSOLUTELY! In our neuroscience for coaches Linked In group we try to keep people up to date with the most critical advances. Out of the blue major research papers are published that can change fundamental insights we have.
Great specialised thinkers have also evolved, which enables us to also. The field of emotions has advanced quite dramatically – leaving many with outdated approaches. Coaches are saying things that are not in line with current thinking. We would love everyone to access the updated information because it is so in line with other coaching attitudes.
The application of science has become more sophisticated in some circles. Many companies are more knowledgeable and subsequently more keen to use neuroscience. However, still the majority of people are misguided and ask for ‘a neuro-tool’. I’ve been asked to speak at a regular meeting of coaches and been asked for ‘lots of time to practice some neuro-coaching tools’. I think this shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what neuroscience offers.
How coaches are engaging with the science has moved on. More are equipping themselves with a deep understanding and trying to push the field forward. There are eminent researchers in the field starting to do interesting research combining neuroscience and coaching. It is becoming better understood that to just skim the top off neuroscience, by only reading a tweet or blog, isn’t a wise investment.
I sat in a coffee shop today with a lovely neuroscientist who we’re fortunate to have as part of the Synaptic Potential team. We discussed the role neuroscience plays in organizations. We agreed that we just can’t see it going away. While some people are disparaging about the science thinking it ‘just shows what’s going on inside the brain’, what is the alternative? Is it psychology that tests people’s theories about what is happening from the outside?
We have always maintained that neuroscience isn’t the whole story. We’re not sure which discipline claims to be. But, neuroscience does paint an important part of the picture. Often it confirms experience, ancient wisdom, psychology and insights from elsewhere. Sometimes it challenges though. The new questions it raises are helping to shape a stronger future. Knowledge used with good intention and wisdom is wonderfully powerful.
About the author: Through her UK business Synaptic Potential, Amy Brann works with companies around the world to help them better understand their teams, clients and organiztions as a whole. She spent years as a lead coach in Europe and is the author of Neuroscience for Coaches.
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