Updated: Sep 21, 2018
I have been reading up on neuroscience recently — yes just a little light reading :-) — as I want to understand how the brain works, and how its workings affect the way we see things and make decisions.
Well it turns out the brain loves making connections and developing mental models to help us make sense of the world. With these mental models we filter, distort, delete or generalize new information, while trying to find ways to make it fit within our existing way of thinking. We look for evidence to support our mental frameworks and further hardwire these frameworks into our DNA.
But because we all have different life experiences, our mental models end up being different and so no two people end up seeing the world in the same way. The beauty of this is in the diversity of thinking that we bring to the table. The challenge is in the potential for misunderstanding each other.
So what does this mean for you?
Well, when the way in which you manage yourself is no longer serving you, it becomes time to change. However, change is tricky as we often look at the problem, rather than the solution. The neuroscience tells us it is practically impossible to deconstruct our existing mental models. So by taking a “let’s look at the problem” approach, we actually create more connections that further entrench our existing mental models.
And what is the solution?
The neuroscience says it is far easier and more useful to focus on creating new wiring in our brains by being solution-focussed. Rather than delving into all the reasons our mental model is not working for us, it is important to define a new desired behavior and focus on developing the mental model that will support this.
Being solutions focussed and action oriented is the domain of coaching. One of the ways that coaching helps you get to solutions, is by helping you think through alternative ways of seeing the world, so that you can gain insights on the changes that you want to make.
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I believe "managing your career like a business" means having insight on where you want to go in your career, the agility and resilience to change track when necessary, competence to navigate transition points, and self-awareness to manage yourself.
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