Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 51

SRINI PIL LAY, M.D.

SCIENCE OF
LEARNING

MANAGING DIGITAL RELATIONSHIPS:
WHAT BRAIN SCIENCE CAN TEACH
L&D ABOUT BIOSTYLES

Being online allows us to connect with team
members virtually. On the surface, simply
showing up, being pleasant, responsive
and respectful may seem like enough.
However, fatigue in online interactions
can quickly set in, impacting the overall
health and well-being of your workforce.
How can learning and development
(L&D) help their organizations effectively
manage digital relationships to prevent
this burnout?
A recent article by Korn Ferry on adjusting
to the new normal of digital relationships
found that a second wave of burnout
is setting in. Online yoga classes and
mindfulness trainings aren't enough.
These social activities actually increase
stress. Instead, people crave genuine
intimacy and connection.
Intimacy implies the most fulfilling,
affirming and gratifying social exchanges.
Many studies show that this is possible with
self-disclosure, social support and active
listening. However, these methods of
connecting are rarely sufficient. Therefore,
L&D should explore perspectives that
boost remote employees' ability to
connect online. One framework for
individualizing responses relates to "brain
styles" - or biotypes.
RUMINATION BIOTYPE
L&D can help leaders understand
that different brain styles benefit from
different interventions. For example,
the "rumination" biotype is characterized
by responding to distress that involves
repetitively and passively focusing
on distress. You will encounter this

when people repeatedly talk about the
uncertainty of COVID-19, the outcome of
the elections or social tensions.
This group has altered connectivity of
the "self" network in the brain, making
it difficult to imagine positive outcomes
for the future. When working with teams
who have people like this, I help them
understand and address barriers to
"possibility thinking."
ANHEDONIA BIOTYPE
The "anhedonia" brain style is
characterized by a relative failure of
experiencing pleasure from activities once
enjoyed. These people do not activate
the brain's reward center with positive
feedback or reminders. As a result, they
feel disengaged and disconnected. To this
end, social interactions may not help, and
they withdraw socially.
For this biotype, inclusion without forcing
interactions makes sense. Focusing on
planned events and enhancing positive
emotions associated with anticipating
and experiencing them may help. L&D
should plan events to look forward to
and incorporate deliberate contemplation
afterward. This is called "positive affect
stimulation and sustainment."
THREAT DYSREGULATION BIOSTYLE
Then, there is the "threat dysregulation"
brain style. Some people have a bias
toward attending to threatening stimuli in
their environment. Neurobiologically, this
tendency could result from heightened
reactivity within the brain's threat networks,

making it difficult to control emotions.
It may seem like people within this biotype
seek affirmation, and they do. But this
can be counterproductive, as it does not
release the brain's attentional "flashlight"
from negative happenings. Instead, you
can facilitate intimacy by asking questions
that release attention from worry.

DIFFERENT BRAIN
STYLES BENEFIT
FROM DIFFERENT
INTERVENTIONS.
For L&D to successfully manage the
switch to "digital," the following guidelines
can help:
*	 Identify which biotypes describes the
individuals in your organization.
*	 Focus on possibility interventions for
the ruminative style, on positive events
for the anhedonic style and distraction
for the threat dysregulation style.
*	 For mixed styles, develop a program
that addresses each.
*	 Ensure that this biostyle approach is
applied flexibly.
*	 Encourage teams to be sensitive to one
another's biostyles.
Dr.
Srini
Pillay
is
the
CEO
of NeuroBusiness Group. He is a Harvard
trained psychiatrist and neuroscientist, and
on the Consortium for Learning Innovation
at McKinsey & Company. Email Srini.

T R A I N I N G I N DUSTR Y MAGAZ INE - L& D'S ROLE IN CHANGE MANAGE ME NT I WWW. T RAININGINDU S T RY . C OM/ MAGAZ I NE

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Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020

L&D's Role in Change Management
Table of Contents
3 Critical Components to Create a High-impact Learning Culture
eLearning Takes Center Stage: How L&D Can Impact Change
Recognizing, Regrouping and Responding to Change
L&D's Role in Revolutionizing Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives
Building Resilience: L&D's Evolving Role in Business Continuity Planning
Consider the White Room: Curating Meaningful Learner Experiences
Cost-estimating Learning Initiatives and Infrastructure Requirements
Trends 2021: Planning for the Future of Learning
Prove It! Measuring Training Impact for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
Critical Leadership Skills in Times of Crisis
Beyond Service: How Defining Moments Impact Culture
LinkedIn’s Business Leadership Program: Finding, Developing and Supporting Early-Career Talent 
Managing Digital Relationships: What Brain Science Can Teach L&D About Biostyles
Beyond Pivotal: The Pivoting Role of Learning and Development
Skillsoft and Global Knowledge Consolidate, Creating a Multimodal Training Giant
Company News
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - Intro
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 1
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 2
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 3
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 4
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - L&D's Role in Change Management
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - Table of Contents
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 7
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 8
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 9
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 10
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 3 Critical Components to Create a High-impact Learning Culture
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 12
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - eLearning Takes Center Stage: How L&D Can Impact Change
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 14
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - Recognizing, Regrouping and Responding to Change
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 16
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - L&D's Role in Revolutionizing Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - Building Resilience: L&D's Evolving Role in Business Continuity Planning
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 19
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 20
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 21
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - Consider the White Room: Curating Meaningful Learner Experiences
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 23
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 24
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 25
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - Cost-estimating Learning Initiatives and Infrastructure Requirements
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 27
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 28
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 29
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - Trends 2021: Planning for the Future of Learning
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 31
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 32
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 33
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 34
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 35
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - Prove It! Measuring Training Impact for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 37
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 38
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 39
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - Critical Leadership Skills in Times of Crisis
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 41
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 42
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 43
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - Beyond Service: How Defining Moments Impact Culture
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 45
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 46
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 47
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - LinkedIn’s Business Leadership Program: Finding, Developing and Supporting Early-Career Talent 
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 49
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 50
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - Managing Digital Relationships: What Brain Science Can Teach L&D About Biostyles
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 52
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - Beyond Pivotal: The Pivoting Role of Learning and Development
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - Skillsoft and Global Knowledge Consolidate, Creating a Multimodal Training Giant
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - Company News
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 56
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 57
Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2020 - 58
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