5 reasons why understanding the brain is crucial

Insight into cognitive skills is so tremendously important for a wide variety of reasons, both in professional and private contexts. Read more about it here and get started with your own Brain Profile right away.

I probably shouldn’t tell you that your brain is an important organ. Without a brain, there would be no you. As we wrote earlier, the brain is also a treasure trove of information when it comes to people’s behaviour in the workplace.

The prefrontal cortex of our brain is made up of 16 cognitive skills that make up our executive brain functions. In human language, these functions enable goal-oriented and efficient behaviour. Wow, that’s super important in the workplace I hear you say? Yes, it is!

But what do you do with all these relevant insights? In this blog, we will explain five important reasons why brain insights are crucial, and what you can do with them.

1. Self-insight as the foundation for success

We cannot say it enough: Self-awareness is the foundation for success. Not only in the professional field, by the way, but also in all your other relationships (with family, friends, your children or partner), knowing yourself is so important.

The more self-insight you have, the better you know what you should apply yourself to and what you should avoid. Insight into your brain teaches you what you naturally have more or less of a talent for.

It tells you what you will develop with more ease and energy than others. It does not yet tell you what you are good at today, but what you will be able to develop with greater ease. So it maps out your potential.

2. Professional Orientation

You may have stumbled into your current job and have no idea whether you want to continue doing it for the rest of your career. Or perhaps you feel that you are not entirely in the right place, but find it hard to pinpoint why. Insight into your brain teaches you the following things that are crucial in your further orientation:

1. Behaviour that you do not show yet, but for which you have a natural aptitude. You will develop these behaviours faster and with more energy than others!

2. Behaviour that you do not yet display and for which you have little natural talent. Stay away from these as much as possible, learning them will require more energy and effort from you than people who have more natural talent for them. So, it is best to leave these things to them.

3. Behaviour that you already show and for which you also have a strong natural ability. Keep showing this behaviour and invest even more in developing it; it may cost you much less energy than others. Or even better: it may give you energy. Maybe there are ways to introduce these things even more into your current job or context so that you can focus on them even more in the future?

4. Behaviour that you already demonstrate and for which you have less natural aptitude. The chance is great that you are losing energy here, so look at how you can minimise this aspect. We often see people in our coaching programmes who have been doing something they are very good at for years. Yet they have lost energy and cannot explain why. The Brain Profile then usually shows very quickly that they are not using natural but learned behaviour. They are good at what they do, but it’s not in their natural predisposition and they have lost energy. There may be colleagues who have more talent for this and can develop it with ease. If you can pass on these tasks to them: amazing, isn’t it? 

3. More Focus

Many cognitive skills in the prefrontal cortex have a direct or indirect link to your ability to focus and direct your attention.

Depending on which cognitive skills you have more or less natural aptitude for, you will have different distraction triggers. What causes you to have difficulty focusing is neurologically determined. Understanding this therefore helps you to find the right solutions for greater focus and efficiency.

Are you naturally more distracted by external stimuli or rather by internal stimuli? Do you know whether you should seek out and apply tips that block out external or internal stimuli? And to what degree are you naturally stress resistant or do you rely on learned behaviour? All relevant insights.

During our Masterclass Hocus Focus you can map out your own brain profile through online games. We will then use these personal insights to work with you in our online course where we will teach you to focus – tailored to your unique needs – so that you can regain peace of mind.

4. Delegate more efficiently

The above insights teach you which matters you should best delegate to colleagues or employees; or which matters you can outsource to others. The cost of outsourcing is probably smaller than the cost you experience (in time and energy) when doing things you are less skilled for.

It is extremely valuable for your team to gain insight into the different Brain Profiles and where complementarity lies in the natural aptitudes of yourself and colleagues. In this way, you learn to assess faster and faster which things it would be best to do yourself (even if it is perhaps the first time – you will master certain things quickly if you have a talent for them) and which things it would be preferable to pass on to others (who, in their turn) will gain energy from doing them.

5. Targeted selection

When we analyse a certain position or role in the organisation, we can link the required or desired competencies to cognitive skills. Especially when there is a tight labour market, it is very liberating to look at cognitive skills. This way, you may attract people who, on paper, have no experience with the subject matter, but we know whether they have a greater or lower talent for developing the necessary competences with ease and energy. So we map out the potential of potential employees.

It is also very useful to look in the Brain Profiles of candidates for a position for complementarity with the rest of the team. What do few people in the team have a natural aptitude for? Where are they currently working purely on learned behaviour? Does the candidate perhaps have a natural aptitude for this and will he or she therefore take over this with pleasure and ease from other colleagues? This is ideal!

Hopefully, you are now convinced of the importance of neurological insights. Looking for more information? We have written other blogs in which we share knowledge about the brain. Read for example the blog ‘Growth Mindset – Or not?‘, the blog ‘The Power of Neuro in HR‘, ‘Attention please‘ or ‘Brain test replaces traditional IQ test’.

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