Unlocking the power of brain-based results coaching

What is brain-based results coaching?

Thanks to the exciting field of neuroscience, or the study of the brain and the rest of the nervous system, we know more than ever about how the human brain works. Brain-based results coaching draws on this knowledge and helps build more effective strategies to help individuals and organisations make positive change.

My coach has a certificate in brain-based results coaching, but what does that actually mean?

It means your coach has a working knowledge of how the brain works, a set of strategies to create the right environment for an effective coaching session, and an efficient coaching structure that brings about insight in a short period of time.

The certificate of brain-based results coaching is issued by the Neuroleadership Institute, a leading global research organisation focused on delivering the knowledge of neuroscience across many applications. The overarching goal is to use brain-based methodologies to help individuals and organisations facilitate positive change – which is ultimately my goal for you too.

What makes brain-based results coaching so effective?

I see brain-based results coaching as two-fold. Firstly, because I know how the brain works, I also understand how your brain works and what you are likely to be experiencing at the start of your coaching session. For example, we know that the brain is wired to protect us from danger – and that to our brains, change and the uncertainty that comes with it, is a perceived danger.

Understanding what is occurring in your brain when you arrive for your first coaching session, and having strategies to manage this, I can determine:

  • how to communicate with you in a way that is most receptive for your brain
  • how to make you comfortable in your coaching session; and
  • how to gain your trust in a way that allows you to make honest reflections.

I can also detect changes in your energy throughout the session. These visible or audible changes are linked directly to changes or reactions in your brain so I know what is physically occurring and can apply meaningful techniques to move you through the session or program in an effective & efficient method.

Secondly, brain-based results coaching uses knowledge of the brain to give us a coaching structure that delivers consistent results.

Many of the strategies applied in brain-based results coaching have been used for many decades. What we didn’t know back then was why they worked in a particular situation and not another. We effectively had a series of “hit & miss” techniques that could deliver results, but not on a consistent basis or with a real understanding of why they worked. Through brain-based results coaching, we have a physical explanation of coaching and how these methodologies create actual changes to our brains.

We always knew that coaching works, but now we know why.

And because we know why, we have been able to refine the coaching structure and design strategies appropriate to each individual client.

Some examples of brain-based results coaching techniques

Our brains like to hard-wire!

Based on neuro-science, we now know that the brain tries to ‘hard-wire’ as much as it can. In a coaching context, this means that if we focus on problems we reactivate and strengthen negative hard-wiring, which in turn makes it difficult to seek new ways of thinking. We also now know that the brain creates new pathways or circuits based on where our attention is focused, so brain-based results coaching teaches us to focus on solutions, rather than problems.

Avoiding information overload

We have learnt a great deal about the pre-frontal cortex and the effect of information overload. The pre-frontal cortex takes information in a series and can only handle a small amount of new information at a time. In a brain-based coaching conversation, your coach would make sure you are provided with the right amount of information so that you can effectively process what is being said.

Calming the Limbic system

How many times a week do you experience a Limbic hijack? Most us aren’t even aware its occurring, let alone how often. A Limbic, or Amygdala hijack occurs when the emotional part of your brain (the limbic system) overpowers the rational part of your brain. This could be something as simple as kicking your toe and instantly reacting by cursing – or more seriously, when a work colleague provides some negative feedback and you react angrily by storming off (you might have a better example!). The intense emotional response occurs in your Amygdala and thanks to various neuro-chemical processes that occur, it’s very difficult to work through a situation with a calm and logical approach. However, now that we know what is physically occurring in your brain during these hijacks, we are better positioned to prevent and manage them. In fact, brain-based results coaching gives us strategies to calm the limbic system after a hijack, and just as importantly, gives us tools to manage your reactions in a hijack ‘moment’.

Powerful questions

Our brains continually filter information, determining what is relevant and what can be discarded. To seek insight and work towards positive change, we need to cut through this process – and we do this by drawing the attention of our Amygdala. The Amydala is the emotional part of our brain and is most associated with fear. It also has a key role in the regulation of attention, perception, memory, and other cognitive processes. You can see why it’s important that we get its attention! So, how do we do this? In brain-based results coaching we use “Powerful questions”. These questions are specifically designed to move you away from evasion and confusion, and towards clarity and action. These questions literally and physically “grab the attention” of your Amydala and have the capacity to shift perspectives!

These are just a small number of brain-based coaching techniques and I will explore more techniques in future posts. Brain-based coaching has applications in a number of areas including workplace coaching, executive coaching, business coaching, and personal or life coaching.

If you would like to learn more about brain-based results coaching and how it helps achieve positive change, please contact me.