The brain is an amazing organ, and in a recent edition of our Executive Edge newsletter, we looked at how you can take advantage of the unique characteristics of the brain to work smarter. While it might seem obvious that we must use our brain to work smarter, what this article talks about are the techniques that can help us take advantage of the processes of the brain in new ways.
Right Brain vs Left Brain – In A Whole New Mind, Daniel Pink states that in the Information Age, the left brain has ruled with its sequential, logical, analytical way of thinking. But as we enter the Conceptual Age, there is a need for more right brain thinking, which is nonlinear, intuitive and holistic in nature. So to succeed in this new age people must develop their creative side.
Nurturing Your Brain – In Brain Rules, John Medina discusses what we need to do to nurture and protect our brain so that it can work at full potential. Sleep is especially important for proper brain function, as the brain needs to process the events of the day and complete learning tasks while the body rests. Stress is a great danger to the brain, as the chemicals released during stressful times can do damage to brain functions. So for best performance we need plenty of sleep and to learn ways of reducing the effects of stress.
Managing Your Emotions – When put in difficult situations, we tend to intuitively react with our emotions, such as fear or anger. So executives must learn how to control their emotions in order to manage effectively. As the authors of The Brain Advantage explain, this may include practices like stepping back from a situation to calm emotions before responding.
Thinking Less – The Brain Advantage also discusses the findings of brain researchers which show that people with higher intellect and/or more experience actually show lower brain activity. They found that this is because smarter, more experienced people can shift to auto-pilot, allowing their subconscious to take over. Experience allows routine work to take less thinking.
These are just a few examples of how our understanding of the brain can help us work smarter, taking advantage of the strengths of our mind and avoiding the weaknesses. You can read the complete Executive Edge report by subscribing to it directly, or receive all Executive Edge reports free as part of our Soundview Premium Subscription.