07Managing Up – A key Leadership Skill

Neuroscience-based Leadership

Leading yourself and your team is what most people think of when they talk about leadership. However, one of the most critically important skills that’s so often neglected is Managing Up.

Managing Up is a critical skill, even at a new manager/supervisor level. But as you climb the leadership ladder, at a certain level leading your team well is generally expected to be BAU (Business As Usual), even though that isn’t always the case!). Managing Up becomes one of the key defining skills that you need to get good at, if you want to be successful in your career. It becomes especially important when you move – or want to move – into senior management and executive level.

It may not feel like it some days, but we all have a brain. Each of our brains are a unique, ever-changing bundle of around 86-100 billion (100,000,000,000) neurons. To put some perspective on that, if you were to count to 100 billion at a rate of 1 number per second, it would take you over 3,171 years (actually, it would probably take a lot longer because it takes more than 1 second to say the large numbers!)

Add to that, each neuron may be connected to up to 10,000 other neurons, passing signals to each other via as many as 1,000 trillion (1,000,000,000,000,000!) synaptic connections. It would take you 31,688,087 years (approximately!) to count that high. So maybe you can begin to see why it is beneficial to have an understanding of neuroscience if you are a leader.

Why then, do we so often lead people as if they are all the same? And more often than not, lead people as if they are the same as us? How few of us do even think about how our own brain works when we’re leading, let alone the brains of others?

It is time leadership is catapulted into the era of brain-based, human leadership. It is time to lead with the brain in mind: to think of leading people as people. And a coaching-conversations leadership style is one of the best tools you can use to make that happen.

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Giving and Receiving Feedback

"As a result of this program, previously chronic under-performers are now performing satisfactorily, managers are happier, and we’re meeting KPIs above and beyond what we were - especially in areas like our performance management appraisal targets. I have managers – happily - doing things like HR plans, which I have been trying to get them to do for 3 years!"

NSW FACS Western Sydney, April 2016

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