Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2017 - 11
SCIENCE OF LEARNING
SRINI PILLAY, M.D.
CLOSING SKILLS &
ACROSS THE BUSINESS
In these times of tremendous economic
uncertainty and volatility, today's new
and relevant skills are tomorrow's
archaic and irrelevant competencies.
For example, data crunching was once
a goal of competent analysts, but has
been largely outsourced to Watson.
Robots are also rapidly replacing
humans in manufacturing. If businesses
want the skills they teach to be relevant,
adaptable, transferable and quickly
executed, they must train employees on
the mindset "basics" that will help them
remain agile and competitive.
LEAD TO ACTIONS.
Skills and competencies must lead to
actions, and for actions to be efficient,
they must be grounded in an optimal
mindset. As a start, use the brain-based
PACE model below to help structure
conversations with hired talent who
are learning new skills. This will help
your business run more seamlessly
People with a sense of possibility will
find alternative ways of doing things.
For instance, they will find ways to ship
materials after the mail has already been
collected, or they will plan ahead to
satisfy disgruntled customers when the
solution is not obvious.
Amplifying positive emotions improves
performance at work. Believing in
positive outcomes activates the reward
pathways and increases dopamine.
Even when there is no evidence that
an approach will work, this "belief"
also relaxes the brain when opioids are
released. Research shows that people
with a growth mindset (the belief that
they can change negative situations)
have greater wellbeing and success. We
use a questionnaire called the possibility
index to address what is blocking a sense
of possibility and the motivation to act.
When people feel authentic, they have
greater self-control. This allows them
to manage their time more effectively.
Feeling connected to a "true" self helps
people feel more motivated. Their
work becomes more meaningful, they
often feel less depressed and their
work abilities increase. To address
authenticity, consider how people
can dress, spend their free time and
express themselves safely at meetings.
All of these factors can enhance or slow
Leaders aren't chosen because of their
individual ideas, but because they
synchronize their brains with others.
Collaborative people can enhance
the positive culture throughout the
organization. Collaborative goal setting
may also enhance buy-in when people
feel that they can participate in their
own futures. In this way, accountability
is shared and not imposed. Also,
collaboration helps self-connection by
understanding oneself in the context of
an organization's mission.
There are two types of pleasures that can
be motivating. Hedonia, or "H-rewards"
refers to external pleasures such as
money or gifts. Eudaimonia or "E-rewards"
refers to internal and less obvious
motivators such as having a sense of
purpose about the work. E-rewards help
employees feel connected to their work,
and in activating their brains differently
than H-rewards, also protect them from
depression. It allows employees to
connect their work to a bigger purpose
so that they feel optimally motivated to
exercise the skills they have learned.
Each of these factors activates the brain
to enhance agility and efficiency. When
trying to mind the gap in performance,
shift the focus of the conversation with
these brain-based questions: Do you
believe that your life is on a path for
continuous improvement? Can you be
yourself at work? Do you understand
your key role relative to others? Can
you connect your work to a greater
meaning and purpose in life? With PACE,
any skill has the chance to be inspired,
which is your first step toward enhanced
Dr. Srini Pillay is the CEO of NeuroBusiness
Group. He is also assistant professor (parttime) at Harvard Medical School and
teaches in the executive education programs
at Harvard Business School and Duke CE.
T R A I N I N G I N DUSTR Y MA GAZ INE - MIND THE GAP 201 7 I WWW . T RAININGINDU S T RY . C OM/ MAGAZ I NE
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2017