Combine your inner wisdom, gut instinct and mental intelligence for effective decision making.
We make up to 10,000 decisions every day – some of them momentous many of them trivial. 220 are about tea and coffee – caffeinated or decaf, grande or regular. It does not matter (too much) if you get your coffee wrong but when it comes to your work, team, finances and health, the implications can be bigger. For most decisions our own mental processing and intuition will guide us quite successfully. But bigger decisions require a more complex set of insights.
Drowning in the deluge
Every moment of every day we are deluged by information. In 2008 we were consuming three times as much information as we were in 1960. In 2012, more than 204 million emails were sent every minute of every day. In 2020 we’ll be producing 44 times more data than we produce today.
The environment we make decisions in is often compromised. The constant drip, ping, ring that surrounds us creates an environment of ‘continuous disruption’. This is having a profund effect on our ability to concentrate, think, plan and decide. Our stone age designed bodies can’t cope with the modern day deluge. Confronted with endless data – our hearts beat faster, our breath becomes shallow, our bodies shift into crisis mode. Making decisions becomes difficult as we can’t access our inner wisdom unencumbered from all the noise.
Recent neuroscience findings have uncovered that we have complex and functional neural networks – or ‘brains’ – in our heart and gut as well as our head. And that these are just as critical to effective decision making as our minds. We all recognise the situation where someone is telling us a plausibly sounding line about the latest best-in-the-market product – but our gut is telling us something is not right. To make effective decisions it is key to access and utilise the power of all our intelligence centres.
Grant Soosalu and Marvin Oka, in their book mbraining ‘Using your multiple brains to do cool stuff’, show that effective leaders use the three centres – head, heart and gut – naturally but not always consciously. When the 3 ‘brains’ are aligned and coherent leaders operate at their most confident and effective. When they are misaligned, decisions and judgement can become impaired.
These three intelligence centres each have their own specialist functions:
Head brain – for executive decisions, including analytical and creative thought
Heart brain – for empathy, relationships and values
Gut brain – for courage, motivation and action
Evidence of the different intelligences centres are littered throughout our vernacular: ‘Listen to your gut instinct’, ‘follow your heart’, ‘deep in my heart I know’, ‘my gut is telling me something is wrong’.
But in the complex and volatile business environment, leaders can overlook the intuitive and innate intelligence of their other brains. Often at work there is a dissonance between the desires of the heart and logic of the head and the sense of self that comes from our gut. In the West, we don’t much like to embrace the heart in the office but working with the heart’s wisdom is where mBraining begins.
Core competencies of the 3 brains
- Head: consciousness, balanced perspective, flow, curiosity, learning, clarity
Highest expression: creativity
- Heart: peace, forgiveness, joy, trust, connection, gratitude, love, generosity
Highest expression: compassion
- Gut: hunger/satiety, action, will power, wellbeing, intuition
Highest expression: courage
mBraining for alignment
Using methodologies from cognitive linguistics, behavioural modelling, and informed by the latest in neuroscience, mBraining is a comprehensive system for communicating with and integrating the wisdom and intelligence of all our brains. mBraining coaching provides organisational leaders with practical methods for aligning and integrating their intelligence centres for increased levels of wisdom. It is a practical based approach that aims to access and tune together the intelligence of head, heart and gut. This enables you to better understand your motivations and true sense of what is the best course of action.
Alignment of your multiple brains can help make you wiser and more effective. Though for your coffee choice it’s a safe bet to rely on your gut instinct.
Are you aligned?
Indicators that your 3 ‘brains’ aren’t aligned:
- You experience internal conflict between your thoughts, feelings and actions
- You’ve not acted upon your dreams, goals and plans
- You do unwanted behaviours or habits but don’t know why or have difficulty stopping them
- Something within you is making it difficult for you to motivate yourself to take action
- You sabotage yourself from achieving your goals
- You experience disempowering emotional states such as frustration, depression, anger, anxiety
We are all clever enough dealing with the complex challenges of modern life and its often endless demands. Business doesn’t need more ‘cleverness’ what it needs more of is wisdom. Wisdom comes from a more holistic approach to human and organisational life enabling us to make more effective decisions and take the best course of action. Balancing our heads, hearts and guts is the route map for us to be more creative, more compassionate and more courageous – at work, at home and in life.
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