Bring Out the Best Using Brain Science

Are you a part of a high-performance team, a team that you look forward to working with? If you are, where is the growth edge for you and your team? If you are not, what would it take to become a high-performance team?

This past week I had the privilege of delivering another Strengths Based Leadership training to a small, yet successful team. The business is successful yet, they knew they held the possibility of greater success but were unsure of how to attain that success. It was so much fun to see their eyes light up when they discovered the places of possibility — where they could leverage their strengths in service of their teams. At the same time, they became aware of where they were going off the rails by overusing their strengths, which is not serving the greater good of the team nor the mission. Sometimes change can come from simply becoming conscious of the choices of how you apply and act upon your strengths.

As a Strengths Strategy, Certified Coach, I offer a well-designed process to uncover the unconscious and build Strengths Intelligence — allowing you to powerfully apply your strengths.

This is part 2 in the 5-part series on Peak Performance by Diana Gabriel, Certified Strengths Strategy Coach.

peak performance, better fit, The Cycle of Excellence, powerful interaction, intrinsic capabilities, extrinsic environment, Select, Connect, Play, Grapple and Grow, Shine, magical interaction, Strengths, Strengths Based Leadership, StrengthsFinder, leadership coach

… the right person doing the right job creates the magical interaction… Click To Tweet

What are you doing to bring out the best in people for peak performance? While no management guru has found the golden key to unlocking the full panoply of human potential at work, research sheds new light on the possibilities.

As far back as a 2005 Harris poll, 33 percent of 7,718 employees surveyed believed they had reached a dead end in their jobs, and 21 percent were eager to change careers. Only 20 percent felt passionate about their work.

The situation has improved ever so slightly. Job satisfaction has hit a 10-Year high with 50.4% of American workers reporting they were unhappy at work, according to a report by the the New York-based nonprofit research group.

When so many skilled and motivated people spend, decades moving from one job to the next, without improving their career status, something is wrong. They clearly have not landed in the right outlets for their talents and strengths. Their brains never light up.

The better the fit, the better the performance, job satisfaction and overall wellbeing. People long for clear roles that are aligned with the strengths they bring and that facilitate their success, while also providing opportunity to stretch, grow and be at their best.

Dr. Edward M. Hallowell, author of Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People (Harvard Business Press, 2011), synthesizes some of the research into five steps leaders and managers can apply to maximize employee’s performance.

A psychiatrist and ADD expert, he draws on brain science and peak performance research for bringing out the best in people. Hallowell refers to the five cited essential ingredients as “The Cycle of Excellence,” which works because it makes the most of the powerful interaction between your intrinsic capabilities and extrinsic environment.

1. Select
Put the right people in the right job, and give them responsibilities that “light up” their brains. You can see the sparkle in their eyes when their responsibilities align with their strengths. 

2. Connect
Strengths based teams have stronger interpersonal bonds and are more likely to be a part of a high-performance team. 

3. Play
Provide opportunity for collaboration that unleashes their imaginations at work. 

4. Grapple and Grow
When the pressure is on, provide an environment or the resources that enable your people to achieve mastery in their work.

5. Shine
The best execution of the strengths of your individual team members promotes loyalty and energizes your people’s desire to excel.

“Neither the individual nor the job holds the magic,” Hallowell writes. “But the right person doing the right job creates the magical interaction that leads to peak performance.”

I am curious: What do you do with your team to encourage peak performance? What have the results been? I would love to hear from you. You can reach me here or on LinkedIn.


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