Brain-friendly connections

Understanding how the brain functions is critical in understanding how to communicate to various audiences in various situations.  Research shows that our social experiences, such as uncertainty and rejection, can activate the same circuitry in the brain as physical pain.  This has significant implications on how we interact with or react to others in situations where emotions are present.  Understanding more about the brain allows us to foster one-on-one and group interactions that create positive and empowering outcomes.  A brain-friendly coaching approach focuses on understanding how the brain functions in order to maximize day-to-day interactions in the classroom, the workroom, or the boardroom.


Our programs are informed by foundational and recent neuroscience research.  Coupled with over a decade of teaching brain-based coaching competencies, the curriculum is designed to develop greater positive outcomes through brain-friendly communication, facilitation and learning experiences.

Because we focus on "process" rather than "content," our programs are ideal for both educators and business leaders, helping them develop the mental muscles required to be successful  in developing the workforce of today and tomorrow. Critical thinking and problem solving are a necessity in today's Information Communication Technology (ICT) environment. Educators must transform the way they teach and business leaders must transform the way they manage to ensure the next generation of workers thrive. 

Why brain-based professional development?

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We have learned more about the brain in the past two decades than in all of previous human history. A good deal of what we are learning is surprisingly counter-intuitive. Without a solid grounding in how the brain functions and how to work with (instead of against) it, a coach’s results can be sub-optimal. Working with how the brain functions enables a coach to create foundational change that results in longer-lasting impact, behavior change, and results.

What is the value of a brain-based coaching approach? A 2014 executive coaching survey* found:

  • 76% of executive coaches say that neuroscience should have a role in executive coaching
  • 62% of executive coaches believe they and their peers should have a full understanding or at least a working knowledge of neuroscience
  • 49% say a background in neuroscience improves a coaches ‟credibility”
  • 34% say their clients should have a full understanding or at least a working knowledge of neuroscience

What are the benefits of a brain-based approach?

To the coachee:

  • Brain-friendly, coachee-driven sessions
  • Strong focus on “atypical” goals (the things we should get to but don’t)
  • Space to generate new ideas, approaches, and actions
  • Appropriate mix of pressure and “reward”
  • Self-accountability and progress where it matters
  • Knowing why something works from the brain’s perspective

To the organization:

  • New (brain-based) language for leadership development
  • Neuroscience-informed coaching competencies, tools, and models
  • Focus on coaching process rather than content expertise generalizes coaching across the organization
  • Positive ripple effect (out and down from coachees)
  • Workplace goal accomplishment (In one study**, 85% of coachees believed they learned how to identify, create and achieve more meaningful goals)
  • Positive impact on business results

*“The Executive Coaching Survey | Evidence and Interaction | Ninth Annual report,” © 2014 Sherpa Coaching

** “EDS Coaching Culture Study,” © 2007 Results Coaching Systems