Neuroscience of Leadership Speaker Trainer

Emotional Reactions vs. Rational Decisions in Leadership

At the core of leadership, it is about understanding how leaders decide to lead and why followers decide to follow.

Decision-making is at the heart of all leadership, from C-level executives right down to mid and lower-level management. Decisions by employees about whether to follow a leader are made constantly throughout every organization.

People have long believed that most decisions are made using rational, logical thinking. In recent decades, though, Neuroscientists have discovered that up to 95% of decisions are made based on emotional responses, instead.

There is a close connection between leadership and marketing. Companies like Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook are now applying Neuroscience insights to influence their customers to drive up sales. Through a better understanding of why people decide what and where to buy, they have gained a competitive edge. Leadership is about influencing people to take action. What we have learned from applying Neuroscience to boost sales and marketing is applicable to leadership.

How Neuroscientists Study Human Behavior

2 decades ago, a classic consumer behavioral study took place in a wine shop. On alternating days, either French or German music was played in the background as people shopped. On days when French music was played, French wines sold better. On days when German music played, shoppers bought more German wine. When asked whether the music influenced the purchases, though, consumers said that it did not or that they didn’t even notice the music. Their decisions were made based on unconscious factors.

In fact, most of our decisions are made emotionally and unconsciously, without rational thinking.

Neuroscientists and Psychologists create very carefully designed and controlled studies to help them understand how the human brain reacts during decision-making. Long ago, only social experiments like the wine shop example were possible. More recently, technology like EEG and functional MRI (fMRI) scans allow researchers to see what is going on deep in people’s brains as they make decisions.

Marketing, Sales, and Leadership Benefit from Neuroscience

In recent years, the Neuroscience of decision-making has caught the attention of many business leaders. Understanding how people make decisions is at the core of what businesses need to know to improve sales and revenues. Innovative companies like Google, Amazon, Twitter, and others began to apply the insights from Neuroscience.

Leadership ideas also depend on how people behave and why they make decisions.

Philosophies and practices of leadership have long been based on anecdotal information and personal experience. In just the past few years, though, a few Neuroscientists have turned their attention to applying the latest scientific research to leadership development and training.

Learning More About Applying Neuroscience in Leadership

Dr. Terry Wu is constantly seeking out research studies and evaluating them. His speaking and consulting on marketing and sales have influenced many sales and marketing leaders. He is now applying his deep understanding of Neuroscience and behavioral science research to speak and consult on leadership.

Dr. Wu is dedicated to sharing this knowledge with business and organizational leaders. His goal is to help leaders understand and apply Neuroscience research to improve their leadership skills. In his keynote presentations and workshops, and through focused professional consultations, he aims to help leaders in business and non-profit organizations become more effective.

Peter Beaumont Terry really knows his subject and presents a convincing and compelling talk packed with examples and evidence. His premise is that we make most of our decisions subconsciously. And we do! He convincingly argues that we make purchasing decisions primarily based on emotion. Terry provides a roadmap that shows what your destination should be and how you can get there by the quickest and most efficient route. If you get the opportunity to hear him speak…do so! It will change the way you look at your business. ~ Peter Beaumont, Global Business Leader and Author
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