Earlier this week, when I was not at all searching for the latest recap of the Bachelorette trying to keep myself on top of current news and world events, I deviated from the steady decline of our political landscape and came across an article on ‘Your Amazing Neurological Design.’ Dr Andre Vermeulen writes that “anyone responsible for identifying talent, developing talent, and improving performance should strengthen their understanding of neurological dominance.”
Personally I find this fascinating. I don’t quite have the inclination to study brainwave patterns, but I am very interested in learning more about how people learn.
According to this article, discovering “the dominance of different brain areas and senses provides a framework that helps people identify and understand their natural talents and personal preferences, as well as those of colleagues, peers, and managers”
So why are we so interested in how people learn? As individuals, we have a unique way of processing information that is intrinsically linked to how we think and behave. Furthering our understanding of this provides us with an endless resource as to what motivates people to learn and how they make decisions. How does your boss learn best? What about your co-worker? How about you? What are the qualities you possess that allow you to absorb information the fastest and perform to your strengths?
“In The Future, Organisations Will Be Built Based On Personalities” explores the findings of Anthropologist Helen Fisher, who has spent the last several years trying to uncover how the human personality works on a neurological level. Each person expresses at least one of four personality constellations and these are activated by our brain circuits, either the dopamine, serotonin, testosterone, or oestrogen system. The study shows that participants often had attributes that were a combination of at least two areas. It’s also interesting to note that gender was not a determining outcome.
Explorers (dopamine expressing) curious and energetic, inventive and future-oriented
Builders (serotonin expressing) prudent and principled, concrete and methodical
Directors (testosterone expressing) systems-thinking, tough-minded and direct
Negotiators (oestrogen expressing) empathetic and inclusive, contemplative and contextual
With this in mind it could be interesting to re-evaluate how we, as recruiters, source your talent. Furthermore, can this information help improve how you will retain and develop this talent? Each person has their own neurological-design, as individual as a fingerprint. Constructing in-house development programmes around each individual’s neurological learning-style might sound like costly project, but given what we know about millennials and their changing expectations of the workplace, this could be the kind of self-development opportunity to attract fresh, new talent.
When Helen Fisher collaborated with fellow business leader David Labno earlier this year they created the NeuroColour Temperament Inventory, which is essentially a personality test designed for the workplace. You can find out more about taking the test here. The four brain temperaments are represented by colours to determine which brain system you identify with the strongest and how they overlap.
Explorer (dopamine) Yellow
Builder (serotonin) Blue
Negotiator (testosterone) Green
Director (oestrogen) Red
The connection between people’s neurological dominance and what they do can help the individual, and the workplace, understand why they are passionate about their jobs, what motivates them and how they can remain engaged in the work they do. Given what we know about the youngest generations joining our workforce, it could be time for us to re-evaluate how we attract, motivate and retain employees in the workplace. Perhaps identifying neurological blueprint could be the first step.
By Jenny McKenna, Rusher Rogers
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