Lean into change with David Rock

by | Jun 29, 2011 | Blog | 0 comments

While reflecting on the three-day Intensive Coaching Training I did last week in San Francisco with Dr. David Rock and his team, I got this insight.

The training supports the principles and practices of lean and LEAN COMMUNICATIONS® as well as the teachings of Dr. W. Edwards Deming. It’s customer focused (coachee), eliminates waste, and practices continual improvement.

As background, David is the founder of the NeuroLeadership Group and co-founder of the NeuroLeadership Institute. For several years, he’s been working with neuroscientists and leadership experts to build a new science for leadership development.

The NeuroLeadership coaching system uses “science-based, process-focused, outcome-driven methodologies to help both individuals and organizations facilitate positive change.”

David started developing his coaching methodologies back in 1996. Then in 2004, he integrated the brain science. (Talk about a commitment to continual improvement!)

Collaborating with several leading neuroscientists, David investigated the neural basis of several issues that are at the core of coaching and leadership. These include self-awareness, reflection, insight, and accountability, which also are critical to effective lean leadership.

His brain-based approach now infuses his coaching system as well as all of his training programs. The hard science of how the brain works provides the theoretical underpinning. The content is combined with brain-friendly tools, processes, and training design. The approach is compelling, fun to learn, and practical to apply. This creates an appealing blend—especially for those of us addicted to continual learning.

The mantra of the coaching program is to “help people think better.”

Before any disciples of Dr. Deming and his 14 points for management challenge that four-word phrase, think again. (In his Point #10, Dr. Deming advocated eliminating slogans because he believed they created adversarial relationships between the work force and leaders.)

The brain research now shows that catchy expressions (that is, appealing phrases of fewer than seven words) are easier to recall. They take root in our non-conscious. We can remember them without effort, which means we’re not taxing our conscious brain.

In a sense, these brain-friendly approaches help achieve one of Dr. Deming’s goals, driving out fear. (Point #8 of his 14 points.)

For example, in our initial coaching training, we worked at quieting our brains and thoughts. This helps listen for impact and speak with intent as we work with others, including coaching them. In a quiet state, we’re primed to be more positive and focused on the future, less anxious and potentially fearful.

As lean practitioners know, lean leaders strive to behave in this manner. They want to help their employees think better, rather than to tell them what to do. (For more about this from David Rock’s perspective, check out his book, Quiet Leadership: Six Steps to Transforming Performance at Work.)

This week, the coaching program continues with the start of 12 weekly teleclasses. Yes, it’s intensive. And yes, it’s powerful and transformative.

My goal with this program is to use brain science to help my clients implement change faster and better. In other words: More treats for fast feats.

How’s your thinking? And are you being kind to your brain?


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